Liburd was defeated at the last polls in 2010 when Eugene Hamilton of the People’s Action Movement, finally got the support he needed to secure the seat for his party. He had already seen signs of possibilities when in the previous election of 2004, he also came extremely close to winning the seat, eventually losing from the last ballot box in the St. Peter’s district of the constituency.
This time around however, the Labour party is not taking chances and has decided to replace Liburd, who some say has not been polling very well in all the recent surveys. The replacement is a young medical doctor, Terrance Drew, who is fresh from post graduate studies in Cuba, but a total newcomer to the political hustle. Interestingly however, Drew is also the ‘former’ husband of the Ms. Jonelle Rawlins-Drew, the PAM candidate who ran against Dr. Denzil Douglas of Labour in the 2004 elections.
Liburd issued a media statement on Thursday afternoon confirming that he had been replaced and used the occasion to shower praise on his successor.
“As the former Candidate and Parliamentary Representative of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour
Party for Constituency #8, I wish to congratulate Dr. Terrance Drew on his selection as the new Labour Party candidate for our Constituency,” said Liburd.
He said that Dr. Drew was one of many talented young students in the constituency who received Governmental assistance and support to travel overseas for higher education and professional training. Liburd explained that while Drew was studying abroad, assisted the doctor with the local administrative requirements to make the change in studies from Engineering to Medicine.
Liburd was also self-praising and reflective when he stated that he was proud to know that his leadership and public service during the fifteen year period, 1995 to 2010, “have assisted with the development of such a well-educated and outstanding young professional as Dr. Terrance Drew.”
“Since becoming the Parliamentary Representative and Minister of Government in 1995, I have focused my efforts on ensuring that all my constituents were provided with opportunities to advance their quality of life, especially in the area of housing and for our youths, education,” stated Liburd.
He added, “As a result of my leadership, and the Labour Party’s commitment to the empowerment of young people, today Constituency #8 can boast of having so far produced five Medical Doctors, three Engineers, one Dentist, one Architect, and several Business Administration professionals. Meanwhile, the Constituency has been transformed in the areas of housing and overall social and physical infrastructure. I therefore am confident that the constituents of #8 have seen and felt the benefits of an improved quality of life while I served as their representative on behalf of the St. Kitts- Nevis Labour Party.”
Liburd was equally harsh on the man who defeated him over 3 years ago, when he opined that “It is now the commonly held view that the change in representative in the last 2010 general election has caused a setback in Constituency #8. Fortunately, the time is fast approaching when the Constituency will again be able to choose an outstanding Labour Party Candidate as their representative, and I appeal to all constituents to work together with full confidence to elect Dr. Terrance Drew in the next General Elections.”
He said he was pleased and proud to be able to hand over the responsibility for the constituency, to a smart, capable, ambitious and committed young professional, whom he said he identified as his possible successor more than ten (10) years ago. “I am confident that Dr. Drew is ready to serve the good people of Constituency #8 following the next General Elections.”