The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is beginning to put structures in place to act as a watchdog political party to the governing New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The NDC, which governed the country for the past four and a half years, lost to the NNP during the February 19 General Elections. The NNP swept the polls, winnin all 15 Parliamentary seats.
An NDC Official told THE NEW TODAY Newspaper that although the party lost the elections, it does not feel daunted and has an obligation to seek the interest of the 22,000 odd persons who voted for the party.
According to the official, Congress has seen it necessary to select a team of persons to form a Shadow Cabinet to monitor what is taking place in government.
He said although the composition of the Shadow Cabinet has not yet been finalized, former lecturer at the T. A. Marryshow Community College, Joseph Andall is expected to play a leading role on the body.
Andall who entered the race at a late stage was unsuccessful and lost the St. Patrick West race to newly appointed Education Minister, Anthony Boatswain.
Although the NDC failed to retain any of the 11 seats it won in the July 8, 2008 General Elections, it has been given a voice in the Upper House of Parliament.
Under the constitutional authority vested in His Excellency, the Governor General, Sir Carlyle Glean, he offered the three Opposition Senatorial positions to former NDC Government Ministers – ex-Finance Minister Nazim Burke who is also the Deputy Political Party of the NDC, former Education Minister, Franka Bernadine, and former Tourism Minister, Dr. George Vincent.
The Constitution makes provision for the Governor-General to appoint three Opposition Senators when there is no Opposition in the House of Representatives.
Speaking on the NDC radio programme known as Heartbeat last week Sunday, Burke indicated that the appointments of the three NDC Members provides an additional platform that would be used by Congress to speak to the population about decisions that are made by the NNP Government and the implications that they would have for the country.
The party’s political leader, Tillman Thomas had earlier announced plans to stage ‘People’s Parliament” to get across their messages to the people.
Since its lost at the polls, the NDC has been using various formats to touch base with its supporters.
It first held a Fun Day at Hermitage, St. Patrick’s on March 3, and is now making preparations for another activity for Bathway Beach in St. Patrick’s on Easter Monday.