U.S based national, Geoffrey Preudhomme has served notice that he intends to introduce a new political organisation to Grenadians – the Justice and Development Party (JDP) – that promises to take the island into a new direction from the other existing groups.
The 53-year old Preudhomme is the son of former deputy Prime Minister, Herbert Preudhomme who served in the labour party government that was deposed from power in a 1979 coup d’etat.
In an interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper, the political aspirant who is said to be the JDP Director disclosed that he was putting together the necessary framework for the eventual launch of the party.
According to Preudhomme, a retired member of the U.S army, he has on board with him a number of Grenadians living in different parts of the United States and Europe but also several persons inside the island who were already engaged in work on the ground for the new entity.
He identified one Grenadian abroad who is associated with JDP as Carl Roberts, a brother of veteran broadcaster, Paul Roberts, the man behind Spice Capitol Radio.
He labelled Justice and Development as “a non-traditional” group, “a grassroot movement” and one that can be considered as “a party of the centre”.
He said the soon-to-be-launched political organisation should not be seen as one that is coming to Grenada to engage in “hand-outs” but was more interested in giving people a lending hand to lift themselves out of poverty.
Preudhomme recalled that he left Grenada on October 3, 1979 for the United States where he eventually enlisted as a member of the army.
When Bishop seized power, the young Preudhomme spent about ten (10) days in Richmond Hill prison as a political detainee along with his father before he was released from custody.
He recalled an incident after he was freed in which a former Captain in the ill-fated People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) and a group of army men came to his home to re-arrest him as a political detainee.
Preudhomme identified the man as Peter David, a neighbour, who until recently served as the Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation in the Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
Preudhomme will not commit the new party to taking part in the upcoming general elections, constitutionally due in 2013.
However, he said that he himself has his eyes set on the St. John seat – the constituency that his father represented for many years under the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) until its demise at the hands of the left-leaning New Jewel Movement (NJM) of Marxist leader, Maurice Bishop.
He spoke of having strong family links in the constituency and it was also the place that he had schooled as a young man.
Preudhomme acknowledged that it can take between 3-5 years to put together a good framework for a political organisation and that it was not the intention of JDP members to rush into anything.
According to Preudhomme, he has managed to get his father to give support to the new political organisation instead of remaining with the GULP which has been on the decline since its downfall in 1979.
With a chuckle in his voice, he said that on his last trip to the United States, his father came up as “a GULP man” but on his return to Grenada, he was definitely “a JDP man”.
This newspaper has been able to lay its hands on a document put together by the new movement in which it gave an insight into its plans.
As a public service, THE NEW TODAY has decided to reproduce the document:
“JDP is a centrist/pragmatic, national purpose movement. We are building a movement to change lives and transform a nation. We are a creative force for socio-economic development with sustainable growth.
JDP is about unity of purpose. Our goal is to unify Grenada, overcoming disagreement and strife, so that we can attain the growth and development that is so vital for the steady progress of our country.
Our vision dictates: WE ASPIRE TO BUILD TOGETHER ONE NATION, CONTINUOUSLY MOVING FROM UNDERDEVELOPMENT TO FULL SPECTRUM DEVELOPMENT.
As you are aware, Grenada is in the midst of crisis. Our economy is badly damaged as a result of greed, irresponsibility, and political immaturity on the part of some. Its recovery calls for swift and decisive action, and we will act. We will address this issue aggressively and effectively, therefore a top priority for us is to develop the private sector as the engineer of growth for development.
Our focus/priorities are based on seven economic sectors. We acknowledge that as a political party we have to perform these duties for our country. Duties that we willingly accept and will execute earnestly.
We are convinced that there is nothing more fulfilling to the soul than giving our all and so we take on this difficult task as we aspire to reaffirm the greatness of our country, Grenada. We know that greatness is not free, nor does it come easily, that it must be earned and we are willing to work diligently toward this end.
The values upon which our success depends are: TRANSPARENCY, JUSTICE, DEMOCRACY, EQUALITY, and HUMAN RIGHTS. We embrace these truths. We truly believe that God is with us and will lead us to shape Grenada’s destiny. HE IS OUR SOURCE AND STRENGTH as our motto states: FOR GOD AND COUNTRY.
To get JDP up and running is labor intensive but it’s a labor of love. For this campaign to be successful it will require a strong and organised grassroots organisation. We cannot do it all alone and so we ask you to get involved. Recruit and inform others whose vision and hope are like ours for a better Grenada.
Our grandparents, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. We are looking forward to connecting with you.