The race is now truly on for the 2013 general elections in Grenada.
The moment the country was a waiting became clear on Sunday night when Prime Minister Tillman Thomas announced Tuesday, February 19 is the date for the much-anticipated poll that could shape the future of Grenada for the next 15-20 years.
A victory at the polls by the incumbent NDC could see the main opposition New National Party (NNP) in the political doldrums for many years if that party does not restructure and change its modus operandi.
If on the other hand Dr. Keith Mitchell and his party were to win the general elections, it would become another nightmare to remove him from office for a very long time given his thirst for power and his ability to do whatever is possible to hold onto power.
The two parties were able to pull out large crowds at their respective political meetings, NNP at Westerhall in St. David’s and NDC at the Bus Terminal at Sauteurs in St. Patrick’s.
THE NEW TODAY would want to believe that the NDC might have surprised themselves with the massive yellow power that heeded the call following the split in the ranks of the party in recent years.
It is now clear for all to see that the so-called popular leader, the expelled Peter David and his side including Arley Gill, Hamlet Mark, Joseph Gilbert, Glynis Roberts, Chester Humphrey and Lincoln “Torro” Depradine and others were not the persons largely responsible for the thousands who heeded the NDC call and put the party into power in the July 2008 general election.
This claim is nothing but a myth.
When Prime Minister Tillman Thomas stated publicly just over a year ago that he was the biggest asset for Congress and its chances in general election, the pro-David faction laughed and scoffed at him.
This newspaper is convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Uncle Tilly was right on target. The likes of Peter David and his former revolutionary comrades would not have been able to convince the Grenadian people that the time had come to put them back into office following the bloody events of October 1983 at Fort Rupert.
The NNP will only win the February 19 poll if the Grenadian people decide to abandon Tillman Thomas and NDC and to bring back Keith Mitchell as the Prime Minister because of what he stands for in terms of the path for development of the country.
Without Uncle Tilly, the current NDC will stand not a chance in the next four weeks. Once he is on board with Congress and leads the party into the elections then the race is truly on as it is at the moment.
The next two weeks would be crucial for either party in their hopes of convincing the electorate that they have the better plans and policies to take Grenada to the next level.
The decision could hinge on the Election Day machinery that is put in place by both the NDC and NNP to get the people to the polls and cast ballots in their favour.
If anyone of them were to falter then the other who execute well will be in the best position to take advantage of the situation and move ahead to win the election.
This newspaper senses that the NDC camp was bolstered by Sunday’s turn out of its supporters, which sent a clear message to the NNP that the party means business with this election and will not be a push over on February 19.
As the country moves closer to the Day of Decision, everything must be done to ensure that the process is free and fair and all recognized political parties are allowed to participate and given an even chance to put forward their views to the electorate.
The Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCIC) and the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association (GHTA) will have to invite not only Prime
Minister Thomas and Dr. Mitchell to the debate among Political Leaders but also two others – Glynis Roberts of the National United Front
(NUF) and Michael Baptiste of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP).
The two of them can lay claim with some justification to be included in the debate among the major contenders.
Mr. Baptiste is representing a party that has won several elections in this country, although not in recent times while Mrs. Roberts can claim with some justification on behalf of NUF that prior to the dissolution of Parliament, she was her party’s representative in the law-making assembly.
The country needs to hear what the GULP is seeking to offer to the
electorate and likewise the platform of NUF despite being only a few months old.
If none of the two major parties secure a majority of the seats, and either NUF or GULP won seats – who will they likely join to form a coalition government for the country?
No one can say for sure who Mrs. Roberts might be prepared to support while Mr. Baptiste might be more inclined to get involved in NDC as the lesser of the two evils.
It is doubtful that Mr. Baptiste will want to walk again in the same corridors of power with the NNP Leader, Dr. Keith Mitchell given their love-hate relationship in recent years.
THE NEW TODAY would like to use this opportunity to appeal to the parties and their supporters to refrain from engaging in activities that can have the effect of damaging the country’s image in their quest to lay their hands on the seat of power and to always think of Grenada.