At today’s [June 20] press conference about the post-fire water testing, Minister Zane Desilva answered questions about reports he is considering challenging for leadership of the Progressive Labour Party.
Last night ZBM reported that both Minister Desilva and Derrick Burgess — who recently left Cabinet amidst controversy — are both considering challenging the leadership of Premier Paula Cox.
The report said speculation exists that three camps have been formed within the PLP, with both Mr Desilva and Mr Burgess said to have support from factions within the party.
When asked today about the report Mr Desilva said, “There is no speculation on our behalf as the party. There may be speculation that is being spread by other parties. But certainly within the PLP there is no speculation, no doubt as to who our leader is.
When asked if he has ambitions to be Party Leader, Mr DeSilva said, “I would say at this particular point in time in my life, I do not have any ambitions to be leader of the Party.”
When asked about the reports recently, Premier Cox told ZBM: “Leadership plots…part of it I think is really trying to destabilize the PLP, and is being hatched by others.
“I think what you probably might want to follow up on is what is happening in some other camps, as opposed to the PLP, because I am standing long and strong for the foreseeable future. Have no fear whatsoever of that,” said the Premier.
The ZBM report also quoted Dr Eva Hodgson, whose comments originally appeared in the Royal Gazette, as saying if Mr DeSilva was made the leader of the PLP it would bother her from “the psychological point of view.”
Dr Hodgson said, “You have all these black men there who could be the leader, but it wouldn’t surprise me because that is a part of the impact of centuries of racism.
“Apparently, Zane DeSilva is a hard worker, but one thing that those against him have said is that he hasn’t been there long enough to pay his dues. He is still very new to the party to become the leader.”
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