It’s straight from the horse’s mouth. Gloria Shillingford will not be on the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) ticket in the next general election.
Shillingford, who won the Wesley constituency for the DLP in the last general election, has told Dominica News Online “I will not be the DLP candidate for the upcoming general elections.”
Now the question is whether Athenia Benjamin, who made an unsuccessful bid for the DLP Wesley candidacy in 2009, will be the one to replace “Teacher Glo” Shillingford this time.
There have been recent reports that Benjamin has been working overtly and aggressively, to represent the DLP in Wesley at the next election.
She is regarded as “a distraction” by some members of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) Wesley constituency association but Benjamin is not bothered and is determined to be the DLP choice for the next poll. She’s been busy lobbying and campaigning and is very confident of her place on the DLP ticket as is borne out in the latest post on her face book page which states:
“It’s a done deal………Athenia Benjamin, the Candidate for the Dominica Labour Party in the Wesley Constituency for the next General Election.”
But according to a DLP source in Wesley, “It’s not a done deal” because the association has not approved her candidacy.
“All she is doing is creating problems as she did in the last general elections when she came from Canada vying to be the candidate. This time around is the same but the PM is pushing her and he wants Teacher Glo out but we are resisting that move,” the source said.
“We don’t want her, where is her CV, she is not liked and people are disgruntled because of her behaviour as she tries to impose herself on us,” one member of the DLP Wesley constituency association told DNO.
Benjamin, DNO was told, has been a resident of Canada for the past 32 years and there are questions as to whether she is qualified to be a candidate. “All that needs to be researched and sorted out but we want Teacher Glo,” the DLP source said.
“She is causing division among us just to outshine Teacher Glo, she is lobbying hard and is supported in her quest by the PM who shows disrespect to us by not consulting us about our choice of candidate and we will have none of it,” the source said.
But if Shillingford herself is putting up any resistance to the DLP leader’s wish, it is not being expressed publicly.
Reports are that she has been offered an ambassadorial appointment if the DLP wins the election but she refused to answer that question when it was put to her by a DNO reporter.
“I am not ready to make any statement. Persons can say what they have to say, when we clear out what we have, I will make a statement,” she said. “I however, can confirm to you that I will not be the DLP candidate for the upcoming general elections.”
Will it be Athenia Benjamin? Sources say she does have the support of some members of the constituency association and according to one political observer in Wesley, dissent within the group notwithstanding, Prime Minister Skerrit is expected to get his wish.