The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has begun the process of refocusing itself following its humiliating defeat at the February 19 General Elections.
The party, which was in government from July 2008, lost all fifteen seats to the New National Party (NNP) which won all fifteen seats in the Parliament.
Congress held its first major meeting of a party organ on October 13 – a General Council session – aimed at repositioning itself as the most viable alternative in the country to NNP.
Members of the party pitched camp at the Hermitage Government School in St. Patrick’s, which is in the village of their Political Leader, Tillman Thomas for their annual General Council at which some major decisions were taken.
During a public meeting on conclusion of the General Council, NDC Deputy Political Leader Senator Nazim Burke announced that the closed-door session focused on putting the party back on a sound organisational footing, and developing a work programme for the coming years.
Sen. Burke said this task is not just fundamental for NDC, but for the country as a whole.
The General Council put in place a five-member Disciplinary Committee in accordance with Section 70 of the NDC Constitution.
The members are Businesswoman Merle Byer, School Principal Elizabeth Forsythe, former School Principal Anthony Parke, Pastor Davis John, and Jerry Marryshow.
Six Resolutions were also adopted – two of them pertained to social safety net programmes that were put in place soon after the NDC Administration took office in July 2008 to cushion the economic crisis that the country was facing.
The eight-month old NNP Administration of Prime Minister Mitchell stopped the free school books programme to private school students, and has also taken away the duty-free barrel programme around the Christmas period.
Under the programme, each household was allowed to import two barrels with foodstuff free of duties.
Both resolutions from the delegates attending the NDC gathering condemned the NNP decision to discontinue the initiative.