As the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) presented their newest candidate for St George, Kelton Dalso came out to much fanfare and blustering applause while entering the main auditorium at the New Winthropes Primary School to ‘Here Come Trouble’ – a popular song by reggae star Chronixx.
Up until this point, each of the previous four candidates – Gameal Joyce, Kimel Richards, Erica Edwards, and Louis Rivera – have all come out to ‘I am Not Afraid’ by Jamaican reggae artist Itana.
“I think that song was fitting for my launch because as of our mottoes says that we, ‘put God first in ALL of our endeavors,” Dalso explained of his song choice.
“I wanted to change it up a bit to show the people that I am a soldier sent by the Father and I am ready for political war.”
Dalso, 44, is the eldest candidate announced by the DNA to date, in addition to the fact that he has previously made representation with the Antigua Barbuda True Labour party (ABTLP) in the St George constituency. This has caused many in the public to question the DNA’s self-proclaimed ethos of ‘young, fresh and dynamic.’
The DNA’s newest candidate, however, dispels this notion adding that, “political analysts have noted that a mixture of youth and experience is needed within the DNA and I add a bit of both.”
“It is indicative that we’re going down that line of diversity within our party I know that because of it that I will bring meaningful change to St George.”
Up until October 7 of this year, Dalso served as the General Secretary for the ABTLP until he just, “had enough.”
Dalso refers to ABTLP chairman, Vere Bird III, as “dictatorial” and says that he, “had to make a change.”
As for his nomination and subsequent candidacy Dalso says that, “I was approached, and I can say this unequivocally, by [former UPP MP] Jaqui Quin in the earlies when she was bowing out saying that Dalso you know you’re the next man.”
“I said to her, in no uncertain terms, that I cannot run with the United Progressive Party.”
Dalso further explains that the UPP had many opportunities to distance themselves from the ABLP and sites the Lindquist Report as one such opportunity.
“The UPP for instance, had an opportunity to convict and put away members of the ABLP with the Lindquist Report and they did nothing with it up to this day. Both parties have shown themselves to be one and the same.”
The St George candidate is currently pursuing his law degree with the University of London International programme.
He said, however, that his pursuit of education will not hinder his ability to campaign and subsequently govern should he be elected.
“I will not be another Michael Browne,” Dalso said.
The Minister of Education, MP Michael Browne, has been accused in many quarters of society of putting his personal educational pursuits ahead of his political and constituency responsibilities.
Dalso affirmed, however, that, “It is a long distance program that I am apart of and it will not distract me in any way from my duty in my constituency.”
“I currently go to work everyday and manage my business while studying and attending to my education at night. Nothing will change.”
“St. Georges constituency has been neglected for decades,” opined Dalso.
“The areas such as infrastructure, street lighting, deteriorating sporting facilities, absence of community centers and libraries, poor drainage, overgrown bushes, absence of affordable government houses and failure to upgrade historical sites.”
MP Dean Jonas (ABLP) is the St George incumbent, while the UPP contender is George Wehner.