Sunday’s political events in the country have reconfirmed the view held by THE NEW TODAY newspaper that the next general election is not a battle for supremacy between the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the main opposition New National Party (NNP).
The electorate will cast their ballot on the Day of Decision based on whether to continue to stay the course with Prime Minister Tillman Thomas – the man of transparency, accountability, good governance and respect for institutions and his style of leadership of the country or return to the days of autocratic, one-manism of Dr. Keith Mitchell who maintained a 13-year stranglehold on the island from 1995 to 2008.
The three political gatherings at La Tante, St. David’s, Telescope in St. Andrew’s and Gouyave in St. John’s have spoken for themselves. Both the NNP and NDC are undoubtedly the major political forces in the country.
Sunday’s showing by Prime Minister Thomas proved quite clearly that the split in the rank of Congress would hurt in particular the Peter David faction of the party.
The general consensus is that at no time at the La Tante lime was the so-called group of rebels able to have 300 persons assembled together whether under the tent playing games or in the open air taking in some fresh sea breeze or eating a plate of food.
It was a defining moment for NDC and the way forward as the party massive was in Gouyave with their Political Leader and Prime Minister in essence the people voted with their feet, as opposed to those who stayed away as part of their strategy to further undermine the leader.
This is the message that was sent home very loud and clear to Mr. David and his close colleagues such as Joseph Gilbert, Arley Gill, Senator Chester Humphrey, Pastor Stanford Simon and Hamlet Mark.
There is nothing left for the Prime Minister to discuss or negotiate with the rebels, as the NDC of 2008 is no longer the same group of persons who paraded themselves as the alternative to the NNP in the last general election.
With the passage of time, the sheep separated from the goats and PM Thomas is now in a good position to understand and better appreciate those who can be trusted and considered as loyal to the cause.
THE NEW TODAY holds the view that the Prime Minister should not waste any time in meaningless discussions and negotiations with the rebels, given Sunday’s overwhelming endorsement of his leadership, but forge ahead and get his party and government ready for the next general elections constitutionally due in 2013.
The first order of business is to get the David-controlled National Executive to set a date for the long-delayed Convention in order to correct the wrongs of the recent past.
A new Chairman has to be selected, as replacement for Kenrick Fullerton, and the NDC supporters need to give serious consideration and thought to replacing Mr. David, the former Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation as the General Secretary of the party.
If Mr. David is honest to himself, he would concede defeat and admit that the split in Congress has left him on the losing end with the Prime Minister getting the rank and file members and supporters of Congress to rally with him and no one else.
Politics is all about perception. No amount of tweaking of speeches, innuendos, controlled press conferences and deception on the part of the Rebels would change the flow of the moving tide against them in the current dispensation.
This is a time for Mr. David, in the national interest, to retreat and no longer give any consideration to going forward into another headlong confrontation with the Prime Minister.
As a matter of fact, Mr. David cannot be seriously considered as a viable candidate for NDC in the Town of St. George in the upcoming general election. As the late Bob Marley said, “he who runs away lives to fight another day”.
Mr. David needs to go on a soul-searching retreat and hope that at some time in the near future, the NDC supporters will forgive him for the rebellion in the ranks and allow him back into the fold in good stead to try and get a third life if at all possible in the body politics of the country.
The MP for the Town of St. George, like so many other past politicians, have tripped up because of lack of patience and surrounding themselves with bad advisors who cannot see beyond their very noses.
Mr. David might be so politically dead already that he might not be able to ever raise his political head in the country whether as a born again NDCite or leader of a new political party.
THE NEW TODAY is calling for Education Minister, Senator Franka Bernadine to be identified by the Prime Minister and leadership of the NDC as the most suitable person to be presented to the people in the Town of St. George Constituency.
Sen. Bernadine should go forward under the NDC banner since this lady gives the impression of being one who is equipped with the talent, acumen and finesse to offer herself at some stage as a future leader of Congress and Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
The same approach in looking at a new slate of candidates should be adopted with respect to a few constituencies in order to bring hope and renewed confidence to the people that the NDC has finally put together a team that is willing to work in the national interest and devoid of persons who are putting in front their own self-interest.
The battle for the NDC support base went overwhelmingly on Sunday to PM Thomas but many more crucial and decisive struggles lie ahead as the countdown to the next general election takes on greater shape and form.
There must be a changing of the NDC guards – and the time is right now for the clinical changes as promised by the Prime Minister – not tomorrow morning since successful politicians survive and excel due to being in the right place at the right time.