Prime Minister and Political Leader of the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), Tillman Thomas has seen a new birth for the party as it fine tunes its team to contest the upcoming general elections that are constitutionally due next year.
As the NDC continues the process of putting together its team of caretakers as possible candidates, four of the Caretakers in the St. George’s area were presented to the general public during a public meeting at the Morne Rouge Playing Field last Sunday.
Prime Minister Thomas spoke of being impressed with the presentations by the “new” endorsed Caretakers.
He said he is encouraged to be among those who have entered the political arena for the first time.
The new entrants are Education and Human Resource Minister, Senator Franka Bernadine for the Town of St. George, Merle Byer for St. George South, and Alie Dowden for the Constituency of St. George North West.
The Grenadian Leader said having worked with Sen. Bernadine for the past four years he has found her to be a very independent person.
The NDC Political Leader described Byer as being a very persuasive person.
He gave details of an encounter he had with her when she convinced him about purchasing a particular brand of vehicle in the early 1990’s.
“I know she would be a great campaigner in the field. She is a very persuasive person,” he said.
Prime Minister Thomas sees Dowden as being an inspiration to the team.
He believes the party has to go out to the St. George North West Constituency and give him the support.
The NDC Political Leader said the Parish of St. George has always supported his party.
He said the Constituencies of St. George South, St. George South East, the Town of St. George, and St. George North East that is represented by the Deputy Political Leader, Nazim Burke have all supported the NDC over any other political party.
However, he said the NDC has not yet found favour with the majority of the people of St. George North West, but is hopeful that very soon they too would come to realize their mistake since 1984.
St. George North West that was once considered to be a safe seat for the Grenada United Labour Party has, since after the collapse of the Grenada Revolution in October 1983, been represented by Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Mitchell of the New National Party.
The Party Leader said the NDC has seen it fit to find competent, respectable and dedicated candidates who are ready, willing and able to serve Grenada.
The Prime Minister who refrained from giving much details as a possible date for the next general elections hinted that the country is now in a season he referred to as being “the flower of our democracy.”
“General Elections are set to be bloomed sometime in 2013. Already the market research is saying that the gift of choice referred by the majority of shoppers (in) this new season is the big red heart wrapped in gold,” he said.
“We have emerged with a team who understands that the only interest in building back Grenada is to serve Grenada,” he added.
The NDC Leader addressed the decision that was taken at the party’s convention on September 30 where ten members including five elected Members of Parliament were expelled.
He said the NDC has pulled through from internal division and political mischief as a more united and resilient party.
The Party Leader gave the assurance that they would work together as a team to ensure that benefits are brought to the people of the State of Grenada.
The NDC Deputy Political Leader who was among the four Caretakers presented commended his colleagues from the St. George’s Parish who have offered themselves to represent the NDC.
Burke said in spite of the challenges the party faced within the past year, NDC has now been able to attract some of the most credible, competent, decent people to represent it.
“I want to congratulate every single member of that team for stepping forward in the face of adversity. You could have said there’s too much confusion, I’m not coming forward. You showed the courage, you showed the determination, you showed the patriotic strength to come forward and represent the country in times of chaos and uncertainty,” he said.
Burke said he is confident that with the composition of the team, the NDC will form the next government to complete the work it has started.
The number two member of the NDC believes that the next general elections would perhaps be the most important one in the post independence history of Grenada.