NDC not perturbed over opinion poll

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is not shaken up over the results of an opinion poll that was recently released by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Research Services Inc. (Cadres).

Peter Wickham – the man behind the CADRE poll

The poll which was conducted during the month of January, and was only released two months later predicts that if General Elections took place at the time the poll was taken the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell was likely to win.

Pollster Peter Wickham claimed that 40 percent of the one thousand persons quizzed were in favour of the NNP, while 18 percent were in favour of Congress.

However, Political Leader of NDC, Senator Nazim Burke said he has heard about the poll, but has not seen the results.

“I am not perturbed in any way by the poll,” Sen. Burke told a radio programme last week Thursday.

He indicated that the same pollster undertook a poll last year in which he predicted that the NDC will once again loose the elections without winning a seat regardless of when the elections are called.

Sen. Burke pointed out that the results of the poll are not in keeping with the sentiments of the majority of Grenadians.

“We are fully satisfied that more people are supporting us today than supported (us) in the 2013 elections. So we are not perturbed by that poll in any way,” he remarked.

Sen. Burke said his party is convinced that the poll is not intended for local consumption but is intended for use in the region to ensure that Congress does not get financial assistance for the upcoming general election.

“The objective is to cut off the NDC supply lines… They know it (the poll) will have no impact on Grenada, they know it’s irrelevant for Grenada,” he added.

The Congress Leader reiterated that the opposition party is now united in its cause for the people of Grenada.

The previous Congress Government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas faced a bitter internal party feud prior to its 15-0 drugging in the 2013 general elections.

Its former General Secretary and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter David who was at the centre of the bitter feud is now a card-bearing member of Dr. Mitchell’s NNP.

According to Sen. Burke, Congress is now satisfied that the party has worked to regain the confidence of the electorate by accepting the criticisms and facing the truth about the 2013 events.

He said while the NDC is ready to face the polls by having identified most of its candidates, for “tactical reasons” they have not yet named two persons to fill two constituencies.

At present the Town of St. George, and St. George South are without an official Caretaker/Candidate for NDC.

The name of a prominent trade unionist has surfaced as a potential candidate for NDC in either the town of St. George or South St. George constituencies.

Speculation is rife that Prime Minister Mitchell could set the date for the upcoming national poll in the June to July period or sometime after November.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mitchell has admonished his supporters to not become complacent over the results of the opinion poll conducted by the Barbados-based Cadres of Peter Wickham which shows that the NNP is heavily favoured to win the next General Elections.

Dr. Mitchell told a radio talk show programme that is produced by his political party that while he does not see himself and other members becoming complacent with the results, it is good to know that the NNP is doing well, and that there is a level of acceptance of the present leadership by people.

The NNP boss also made some passing remarks about the team of candidates that will face the electorate in the next elections.

“When the decision is made, the party will be announcing soon caretakers for the constituencies,” he said.

Political observers are looking closely at the Town of St. George to see if Health Minister, Nicholas Steele will be retained or replaced by David, the former powerful General-Secretary of Congress.

If David is left off the NNP slate it could mark the end of his career in frontline politics which started back in the early 1970’s with the left-marxist-oriented New Jewel Movement (NJM) involving the late Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard.

Dr. Mitchell said all aspects of the selection process of candidates is currently taking place.

One of the persons who may not be considered as an NNP Candidate is Sports Minister Roland Bhola who is the current Parliamentary Representative for St. Andrew’s North East.

Dr. Mitchell told the radio programme that at the right time the people of St. Andrew’s North East will be consulted if Bhola is not going forward as a candidate.

He announced that there will be a heightened period of information and political activity.

The NNP Political Leader also looked at the succession plan that will be in place when he steps down.

He said while he is not dictating anything, he will ensure that “the best person,” emerges.

He believes the main criteria for being the next party leader is love for people.

“I always believe if we do what we have to do (it) correctly, we will see the right person emerging after my departure,” he said.

The NNP stages its annual convention on Sunday at the St. Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School.

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