Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Politics chose me – Powell

Published:Friday | February 26, 2016 | 2:00 AMShayne Fairman
Daren Powell

Having championed the West Indies cricket team's cause for seven years, former fast bowler-turned politician Daren Powell contends that he is ready to bowl the People's National Party (PNP) to victory and unseat incumbent J.C. Hutchinson as member of Parliament for North West St Elizabeth.

Powell took 85 Test wickets and 71 one-day international wickets in 37 and 55 matches, respectively.

He believes that his "love for people" has destined him to represent them and is ready to deliver.

"It's not me who chose it (politics). Based on what I used to do in the community as a cricketer, people always loved me and showed me respect. People always ask me why I don't go into representational politics and represent them," he shared with The Gleaner.

"In 2012, South East St Elizabeth Member of Parliament Richard Parchment was passing through on a motorcade and the people stopped him and appointed him their new representative," Powell recalled.

"It is not based on anything - just how I live with the people. I have a passion for people and my community. I always do a lot for people and I have a passion for youth," he shared.

"I am weak for people who are very sick," Powell said of a recent visit to the Black River Hospital in St Elizabeth.

While being respectful of his challenger, who has seen as many as 6,438 persons voting for him in 2007 and 5,689 in 2011, Powell said that he has no fear of the political veteran.

"He has been around for some 20-odd years. He is not somebody easily beaten, but that constituency is lacking in many things - infrastructure, growth, and opportunities for the youth. One thing is for certain, I am more confident now about winning than when I just started," stressed Powell.

The PNP last won the seat in 1993 when Melford Brown was voted as MP. Since then, it has been the Hutchinson show.

"Victory for the PNP! Victory for North West St Elizabeth and those who support change! I will take it home for the PNP," Powell predicted.