Former Opposition Leader, Michael Baptiste will most likely be joining forces with the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas for the February 19 general election.
Baptiste was selected by the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) about a month ago to lead its team of candidates in the poll that was called two weeks ago by PM Thomas.
He had told THE NEW TODAY that he would be seeking to regain the St. Andrew South-west seat that he won in the 1995 and 1999 general elections – the first on a GULP ticket and the other with the NNP of ex-Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
According to a well-placed source, Baptiste has come to the realisation that the GULP will not be able to mount a successful platform for the poll and took the decision a few days ago to throw his support behind Congress.
The former Opposition Leader reportedly held one public meeting earlier in the month in his hometown village of Munich in which he lambasted the NNP and its Candidate for St. Andrew South-west, Yolande Bain-Horsford.
The outspoken and fiery Baptiste appeared on some of the NDC platforms in the July 2008 elections and helped the party to its 11-4 victory against NNP at the polls.
The source said that a meeting was held during the last weekend between the former Opposition Leader and some of the top leaders of Congress to discuss his participation in the election campaign.
He declined to give details but said it was more than likely that Baptiste and the NDC top brass would be able to hammer out an agreement to get the GULP member to lend his support to their cause.
He said that Baptste is eager to appear on the campaign platform to take the fight to the NNP candidates in the four St. Andrew’s seat, and the two in St. :Patrick’s including St. Patrick East that is held by Prime Minister Thomas.
It is not clear whether the GULP will continue with its plans to field a limited number of candidates in the election.
The February 19 battle is expected to be a straight fight between the incumbent Congress and Mitchell’s NNP, which governed the island for 13 years between 1995 and 2008.