In a recent statement exclusively to 284 Media, independent At-Large Candidate Lorna Smith, OBE announced that she has joined the National Democratic Party as an At-Large Candidate in the upcoming general elections.

Smith’s statement read, “I have spent many years of my life serving the Virgin Islands, working in many ways and with many people across the political spectrum to do all I can for this country. I have always worked hard, but the key to successful hard work is, of course, to work with others who are equally driven, and equally passionate.”

Speaking on her campaign, she said, “I started my campaign running as an independent candidate. I did so because I felt compelled to develop a deeper understanding of the needs, hopes and desires of our people, so that when I spoke, my voice reflected the aspirations of the people of the BVI and not necessarily a political party. I have been humbled, overwhelmed and encouraged with the strong level of support expressed for my candidacy, across all communities, from young and old, male and female and from every island of our beautiful country.”

She also added, “With this encouragement, I am delighted to say that my campaign for election continues. And it will continue as a member of the National Democratic Party. You will no doubt ask why I choose to join that party, or any party, when the significant support, for my election – which I do not take for granted – is already so strong. I will tell you my reason today, now.”

In closing, Smith said, “As all of you know, I am my own person and while I have my own opinions and beliefs, I believe that we must come together to protect the future of the Virgin Islands. Our next government, and all its elected officials, must share fundamental and core beliefs for our country. We must make sure they are focused, and driven, to improve, to empower, to evolve and to help us all be the very best we can be. The NDP’s policies are more closely aligned with mine and under previous NDP Administrations, while these may not always have been perfect, the country has advanced significantly. My interest is in our continued advancement, and no one will work harder than me to make this happen. I know the Chairman and members of the NDP encourage respect and value independent thought among NDP members. I have always maintained my own voice. With your support, that will not change, nor will my five key pledges to you be given any less priority. I humbly ask for your vote in order to serve you, the people, in the next chapter of our future, and to make it the very best it can be.”