New National Party (NNP) newcomer to the political platform, Clifton Paul will challenge Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas for the St Patrick East Constituency in the upcoming general election.
Paul was introduced on the NNP platform on Sunday evening as one of the 15 candidates to contest the national poll expected to be called in 2013 by Prime Minister Thomas.
Sunday’s Convention and Rally of the main opposition party took place at the St Andrew Anglican Secondary School (SAASS) at Telescope in St. Andrew’s.
The event was held under the theme, “Reviewing Our Past, Charting Our Future. NNP – The Only answer”.
Paul, a retired teacher of the St Patrick’s R. C. School is originally from Mt. Fendue, but currently resides at Rose Hill, St Patrick with his family.
He told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that he is confident that he has what it takes to defeat the Prime Minister whenever the election is held to become the new Parliamentary representative for the rural constituency.
He said that some of the concerns he will address within the constituency when he gets into office are unemployment, the repairs and construction of by-roads, as well as bringing better housing conditions for the people and better care for the elderly.
The aspiring politician spoke of always being an ardent supporter of the NNP and when he was approached to become involved in frontline politics, was ready and willing to serve.
In addressing party supporters at the rally, Paul who said he is involved in community activities, boasted about the unity within the NNP of former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and how proud he feels to be affiliated with the party.
Paul is expected to fly the party’s flag in the constituency as he takes over from the 2008 candidate, Carl Caton, a former member of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
The NNP also presented its full slate of candidates made up of three newcomers to frontline politics.
The list includes Alexandra Otway-Noel (South St George), Nickolas Steele (Town of St George), Alvin DaBreo (St John), Dr. Keith Mitchell (St. George North West), Yolande Bain-Horsford (St Andrew South West), Roland Bhola (St Andrew North East), Gregory Bowen (St George South East), Emmalin Pierre (St Andrew South East), Elvin Nimrod, (Carriacou and Petite Martinique), Dr. Clarice Modeste (St Mark), Delma Thomas (St Andrew North West), Anthony Boatswain (St. Patrick West), Tobias Clement (St George North East), and Gabriel Henry (St David).
During the convention, the NNP also elected a new executive to take the party into the next year and general election.
Those elected were: Chairman – Gregory Bowen, Deputy Chairman – Kenny Lalsingh, Political Leader – Keith Mitchell, Deputy Political Leader – Elvin Nimrod, General Secretary, Roland Bhola, Assistant General Secretary, Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Steve Horsford – Recording Secretary, Brenda Hood – Assistant Recording Secretary, Anthony Boatswain, Treasurer, Terrance Forrester – Public Relations Officer, Winston Garraway – Labour Relations Officer, Joy Mancini – Welfare Officer, Sheldon Scott – Youth Officer, and Floor Members – Oswald Gilbert, Prescott Swan, Cletus St Paul, Richard Mc Phail, David Stan Phillip, Bassanio Nicholas and James Stafford.
The NNP public meeting got a surprise when controversial Government Backbencher Karl Hood made an appearance at the Telescope Playing Field.
Loud screams of excitement ensued from party supporters as Hood made his way onto the playing field and into the crowd.
Attention was briefly directed from Paul, who was introducing the party’s political leader, Dr Mitchell.
Supporters of the Opposition party welcomed him into the house of the NNP and encouraged the entire NDC fold to do likewise.
Hood defeated NNP’s 2008 candidate Gregory Bowen to become Parliamentary Representative for St George South-East.
The MP accused the Tillman Thomas government of squandering its time in office with too much infighting and tendered his resignation to the Prime Minister.
Hood then journeyed from Grenville to Gouyave, St. John to attend the public meeting called by the Prime Minister.