Shanks turns red
Nicholas "Shanks" Esprit, the former United Workers Party (UWP) Senator is at the top of a short list of Dominica Labour Party (DLP) candidates preparing to do battle with the UWP's Hector "Spags" Joh
Nicholas "Shanks" Esprit was a United Workers Party (UWP) senator in the House of Assembly and during his period of service he protested against Speaker Alix Boyd Knights treatment of the Opposition and even took the matter to court. Additionally, he was a potential UWP candidate for Mahaut. But now, the Sun can report, he's likely to run for the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) against the UWP in Salisbury.
However, recently Esprit has openly supported Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and is now among the top contenders vying to run on a DLP ticket in the Salisbury constituency.
"His name is being called and I can tell you that he wants to ran badly and so too is police sergeant Pelam Jno Baptiste who has been waiting for his chance," a source told the SUN.
Jno Baptiste, the SUN was told, has "always indicated his interest over the years but felt he was not yet ready; so it will be interesting to see how it turns out," the DLP source said.
When the Sun contacted him, Esprit tried to play down the issue, first saying "the candidate is the same as the last time." But when questioned further he said: "The issue of a candidate for the DLP in the Salisbury constituency has not yet been dealt with.
"I don't know whose name that is being called…garson; I don't know what you are talking about, I don't have anything further to tell you on that. If you ask me which party that I support, I can tell you that I support the Dominica Labour Party," he said.
He said "the media was trying to rush and preempt things" but as far as he was aware, "everything was okay."
"I am in the constituency campaigning for Labour, preaching the Labour message; yes, I am visible doing the work of Labour," he stated. Esprit refused to speculate on his chances of winning the seat if he was selected.
"Labour operates like a happy family so you will know. Labour don't discard people; that is the work of the United Workers Party; remember I was there with them, if you think I am lying ask Ronnie Isidore," he stated.
If he's selected, Esprit will have a better chance of beating Usain Bolt in a 100 metre sprint than winning the seat for the UWP. Since B.J. Louis won the Salisbury seat for the DLP in 1975, no other Labour candidate has come close to winning Salisbury. In fact, the UWP has won Salisbury for the last five general elections (Earl Williams four times in succession and Hector John twice, including a by-election in 2010). The Dominica Freedom Party won the seat twice, in 1980 and 1985.
Meantime, John says he has been hearing the names of Esprit and Jno Baptiste since Bently Royer was discarded but the DLP has not made the final choice; however, Esprit's name is at the top of the list.
"We in the Salisbury, Morne Rachette, Colibistrie area are moving in the right direction. We are a farming and fishing community and have been neglected by the government despite us begging them to fix the roads and help for our farmers and fishermen," he said.