The new Kalinago Chief, 22-year old Lorenzo Sanford, was confirmed and elected on July 23rd 2019. Sanford called for the Kalinago to join with him to work together for the betterment of the Kalinago Territory.
“I would like them to join with me because at the end of the day, we all have something greater for the Kalinago Territory. We were here and we said that we were going to help throughout our campaign, I would like to say come on board if you are really interested in working with our people and the development of our people. Join me and we shall bring this Kalinago Territory where it belongs,”Lorenzo Sanford statement on his election as the new Chief of the Kalinago people
Sandford thanked his supporters and everyone who stood by him and the people of the Kalinago Territory for believing in him and granting him the chance to be their Chief. It was reported that voter turn out among the youth was usually high, a sure sign that this worked to Sanford’s benefit.
Sanford is from Bataca, one of the eight hamlets of the Kalinago Territory. Snaford has stated that his focus will be both on the young and elderly people of the territory.
The campaign to elect a new chief for the Kalinago was criticized in some areas as having had political influence from the current ruling party of Dominica, the Dominican Labour Party (DLP). The Chairman of the DLP Salybia Constituency Association Paul Baron was criticized for openly endorsing Sanford. This move suggested to critics that the new chief was party-aligned and therefore working in the interest of the DLP. To date, Lorenzo Sanford has not been known to express any alignment with the DLP party of Dominica.
Sanford’s main contender in the race was Anette Thomas-Sanford who has since replaced the United Worker’s Party (UWP) candidate in the Salybia constituency on September 10th, 2019.
This suggests that voters may have known her political leaning and may have allowed political sentiment to affect their choices in choosing their new chief. Ms Thomas-Sanford seemed an equally popular choice for the position of new chief of the Kalinago people. She is also older and was thought by her supporters to bring more life experience to the position of new chief. She lost by 3 vote counts.
Many persons throughout Dominica were taken aback and puzzled by the choice of such as young candidate for chief as Lorenzo Sanford when Ms Thomas-Sanford seemed poised to win the new role as chief of the Kalinago Territory.