The latest Democratic National Alliance (DNA) candidate to be unveiled is promising more citizen participation in the creation of policies aimed at improving their communities and the country.
Kelton Dalso was introduced by party leader Joanne Massiah Saturday night as a businessman of some 18 years who has always had an interest in, and a passion for, for politics.
According to Massiah, Dalso brings a new approach to the table.
“His contemporary thinking in areas such as labour relations, small business development, housing and health, will foster an environment where citizens and residents will be encouraged to actively contribute to community and nation building through their creative and innovative talents.”
Dalso, who will be contesting the St. George constituency, took the podium to the sounds of the reggae track “Here comes trouble” before launching into a biblical quote.
In introducing himself he pointed out that his family ties spanned the entire constituency and that he was no stranger to politics. Dalso was a member of the Antigua True Labour Party but resigned last month to make himself available for the DNA.
According to him, the constituency “has been neglected for decades” and he listed poor street lighting and drainage, deteriorating sporting facilities, the absence of community centres and libraries, and a lack of affordable government houses as evidence of this neglect.
Dalso urged constituents to be “wise” about whom they choose to represent them as the general election – constitutionally due in 2019 – draws closer.
“Together with the DNA government I look forward to collaborating with you and to hearing your suggestions, ideas and concerns in the area such as youth, unemployment, upgrade of sporting facilities, modern infrastructure, properly maintained public institutions, affordable housing, establishment of senior citizens’ centres and upkeep of community cemeteries.”
According to Dalso, a married father of five, too many youths, especially young men, were spending most of their productive years liming on street corners because of a lack of job opportunities.
“Too many are inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison where there are no meaningful programmes designed to rehabilitate them and transfer critical skills which will enable them to reintegrate into our communities,” he added.
The businessman said the people deserved a government which was committed to creating sustainable opportunities in manufacturing, technical and vocational trades, technology, and the culture and arts, and education in general for young people.
“We will work with our parish council, a key policy initiative of the DNA, to ensure that the development needs of our community are identified and addressed,” Dalso declared.
The St. George constituency seat is currently held by Dean Jonas of the governing Antigua Barbuda Labour Party.
Dalso is the fifth named DNA candidate with the others being Louis Rivera, Erica Edwards, Kimel Richards, and Gameal Joyce.