Former Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr Kedrick D. Pickering has said he always indicated he had no intention to contest the 2023 General Election as an Independent candidate and that it was the National Democratic Party (NDP) that reached out to him.
Dr Pickering was at the time appearing as a guest on Honestly Speaking with Claude O. Skelton-Cline on ZBVI 780 AM on March 7, 2023.
“The reasons why I am with the NDP is very simple, the organisation reached out to me and said 'let’s have a conversation and see'… nobody else reached out to me the way they did.”
Dr Pickering added that the approach for him to rejoin the NDP was definitive and is still a work in progress; however, he will do his best to help the VI.
“And I will do my best to help my country from wherever I am placed, and I will do my best to help my organisation to win the seats that it is fighting to win,” he added.
Dr Pickering said it was the NDP who asked him to join the party in a 'definitive approach'.
Dynamic change in VI led to a shift to At Large - Dr Pickering
Meanwhile, Dr Pickering said he chose to contest as an At Large candidate rather than as a District 7 candidate due to a change in dynamics in the VI.
He added that running At Large will allow him to reach a wider audience and articulate the issues of the day, rather than having to campaign in the district and sticking to the issues of the district.
Dr Pickering said after doing some soul-searching and consulting with friends, he eventually made the decision to run At Large in the Virgin Islands
, given he believes that he has the willingness to help the country and that issues are more complex.
He said he sees his absence from the House over the last four years as a sabbatical.
“The energy that I have now and the knowledge, based on my experience, and the analysis that I can do at this point in time, I can best help the country being a Territorial At Large representative,” he added.