FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23: It’s been a week of change in the PLP as the party puts together its team of candidates for the next election in a series of ballots at branch level. Here’s a round-up of the main movers so far...


In — Rolfe Commissiong

Mr Commissiong, a consultant to the Premier, and the architect of the Big Conversation race relations initiative, won the right to stand as the candidate for the Pembroke South East constituency in a ballot on Tuesday night.

He defeated sitting MP Ashfield De Vent, Senator Jonathan Smith and Vance Campbell in a vote at Alaska Hall.


Out — Ashfield De Vent

The former Works and Engineering Minister served the back-of-town constituency for nine years. Former court reporter for VSB, Mr De Vent was expected to hold on to the seat in the lead-up to Tuesday’s vote.


In — Diallo Rabain

The businessman ousted Darius Tucker to win the right to compete for the PLP In Hamilton South. The seat is expected to be a marginal at the next election, having been won narrowly by the UBP in 2007. Mr Rabain leads the local chapter of the influential Alpha-Phi-Alpha fraternity and is a director in an architectural design firm.


Out — Darius Tucker

The former UBP man quit the party to become an Independent midway through his term in office after beating Wayne Caines in a close race in 2007. He crossed the floor to join the PLP in June. But the branch members opted not to retain him as their candidate and he lost out to Mr Rabain in a ballot this week.


Staying Put — Randy Horton

The veteran MP held off a challenge from lawyer Marc Daniels to narrowly cling to his Southampton West seat. Only last year former Education Minister Mr Horton launched a bid to become the PLP’s deputy leader. But the MP, who chaired the recent parliamentary commission on gun crime, faced a tough battle to hold on to his seat.


Switching Seats — Zane De Silva

A narrow winner over David Dodwell in Southampton East at the last election, Zane DeSilva won the right to switch to a safer seat in a ballot on Wednesday night.

Boundary changes would have made the seat even tougher for the Health Minister, who won by just 48 votes in 2007.

He beat former Senator David Burch to win the chance to stand for the PLP in the Southampton East stronghold — won by Speaker Stanley Lowe at the last election.

Mr Lowe appears to have retired after not showing up to Wednesday’s vote, according to reports.



* The branch elections were set to continue last night and through to the end of next week. The results of the primaries will have to be ratified by the Central Committee.