The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) strongly believes that Grenadians will be called upon to go the polls sometime during this year to elect a new government.
The 28-year old political party which suffered a humiliating 15-0 defeat at the hands of the New National Party (NNP) in the 2013 General Elections has begun placing its main supporters in an election mood following its annual convention that took place two weeks ago.
Former Congress Chairman Dr. George Vincent told party supporters “voting is very likely to be this year, 2016.”
Dr. Vincent who was addressing a public meeting at Hermitage School Playing Field following the convention said Congress has seen signs that NNP is getting ready for an election.
He stated that General Elections could easily be determined by two issues that are currently on the table which he identified as Constitution reform which is scheduled to take place by the first quarter of this year, and Camerhogne Park which government plans to relocate.
In his 2016 Budget Speech, Dr. Mitchell announced that Rivera Hotel is now being designed and during that phase of the project the investors have agreed to construct a new Camerhogne Park nearby.
Since this revelation a number of persons on the island have been voicing their opposition to having Grenada’s patrimony on the beachfront be given away to facilitate the construction of a hotel.
Former Congress Government Minister, Phinsley St. Louis told a television programme recently that Health Minister Nickolas Steele has shown him the plans for three possible sites to be redeveloped for Camerhogne Park.
One is in the vicinity of The Umbrellas, another is close to the Grand Anse cemetery and the other location is in the area of the Coconut Beach Restaurant.
Dr. Vincent who is the Caretaker for the Constituency of St. John’s said Congress needs to use the opportunity projected by Grenadians to rally around that patriotic cause of saving Camerhogne Park to show that it is a “loving party, and we bring everybody together.”
He is convinced that if Congress proceeds to use that opportunity wisely, it can go into the next General Elections in a very good position.
However, the former Party Chairman urged supporters to prepare themselves for the upcoming General Elections by getting registered.
He provided the meeting with some figures he obtained of people in the St. John area who are not yet registered.
According to Dr. Vincent, a recent canvassing of the electoral list done for the St. John’s Constituency shows that there are over one thousand people who, previously were registered in 2008, did not register in 2013 and are still not registered.
“This is, my friends, a national call, a patriotic call, and wherever village you are… gather together with your NDC leadership in the village and get the work done. Time is of the essence… the elections, whether it is referendum or national elections, is coming sometime in 2016. I want you to take note and be ready,” he told party supporters.
Political Leader, Senator Nazim Burke urged the electorate to be vigilant at all times, adding that Congress needs to reach out to everyone despite their political affiliation.
Sen. Burke said NDC has a responsibility to lead the process, indicating that all of the time must not be spent criticising the NNP.
“Our business is to reach out to our people and explain to them what we are planning to do, and how we are planning to make it happen,” he said.
Former Social Worker Cecilia Ann John who is the Caretaker for St. Patrick’s East also joined the call for Congress supporters to get ready for General Elections.
John underscored the importance of ensuring that all eligible voters get registered to exercise their civic duty.
She stressed that Congress cannot go back to the polls with the same numbers as in 2013.
“We have to increase the number by a hundred fold,” she quipped.
Prime Minister and Political Leader of the NNP, Dr. Keith Mitchell, provided indications of a possible snap election.
Dr. Mitchell who was a guest on a radio programme on Sunday disclosed that his Cabinet of Ministers were engaged in a retreat last week Saturday where they were instructed to spend more time in the field.
He said the members recognise that “this is the big year for them, politically, economically and otherwise,” while pointing out that they will be engaged in a lot more political work.
Dr. Mitchell indicated that his team has recognised that they have to lean on each other.
“Our success will depend on not just any one individual. It depends on the collective wisdom of the team,” he said.
The NNP Political Leader said during the first three years in office a lot more time were spent in government than the politics and the party, adding that members must now give equal time to both.
He said they have to remember that they were voted into office by the people to first service them.
“You must be in touch with them (the people) while you spend time in ministries attempting to help the country move forward,” he added.
Speculation is rife that a snap election can be held before the middle of the year.