The time is coming!!!

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has given a clear signal that his New National Party (NNP) is getting ready for the next general election.

The party has announced the first batch of five persons to be officially recognised as NNP Caretakers with a view to installing them as the defacto candidates.

The five did not take anyone by surprise and put to rest once and for all the status of Peter David as a possible candidate for NNP in the general election.

The Peter David factor once again reminds us that there are no permanent friends or enemies in the game called politics.

The former Congress General Secretary who was brutalised by the NNP and its Political Leader, Prime Minister Mitchell the most is now sitting among his once sworn and bitter enemies.

The NNP announcement about the five Caretakers brings closure to the guessing game as to whether former Minister of Tourism, Alexandra Otway-Noel will be retained to contest the South St. George seat.

With David now earmarked to run in the town, the incumbent, Health Minister, Nicholas Steele is being switched to the south of the island to replace Otway-Noel as the likely NNP candidate in the upcoming election.

As the NNP prepares for the battle, the only constituency of the remaining ten that will be of interest in terms of change of candidate is St. Andrew North-east where the incumbent is Youth and Sports Minister, Roland Bhola.

The word coming out of the NNP camp is that Mr. Bhola is not keen to remain in frontline politics and has been spending a lot of time lately at home and not in the Ministerial Complex on the job in order to take care of a sick and close family member.

A certain name has surfaced as a possible replacement in the constituency and is said to be getting support from key activists of the ruling party.

The main opposition National Democratic Congress would be taking careful note of the NNP moves and crafting out its response.

NDC should recognise that the NNP’s war chest for the elections cannot be compared and that its candidates will have to employ a different strategy and method to go into the battle.

THE NEW TODAY understands that Congress has virtually selected all of its 15 candidates for the upcoming poll and would be unveiling  the remaining two within the next few weeks for the Town of St. George and South St. George.

Two high profile candidates are being mentioned – one is a trade unionist and the other is an attorney-at-law.

This newspaper is predicting a poll within the next four months and sometime before the carnival season in August.

The NNP has given some little hints about the timing of the poll.

Prime Minister Mitchell is sitting pretty comfortable at the moment due to the recent agreement reached with two public sector unions on the one-off payment for their membership.

The agreement calls for the negotiations to resume in July and the Prime Minister would not like any more further distractions with the unions in the face of a looming general election.

It follows quite naturally that he would like to call the poll before mid-July to avoid any unpleasantness with the Public Workers Union (PWU) and the Grenada Technical &  Allied Workers Union (TAWU).

The NNP is very cocky and seems confident that it can hold onto all 15 seats for a third time in the country.

It has been boasting of the progress made with the IMF-supported Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) that brought so many taxes on the backs of the people.

The NNP also seems to be pouring scorn on the recent outcome of the Referendum vote on Constitutional Reform in which the electorate rejected all of the seven government-sponsored bills.

THE NEW TODAY suspects that the outcome of the upcoming poll will be determined by the youth vote as was the case in 2013.

Can the NNP get the youth to once again rally to its call of “jobs, jobs and more jobs” to be created and the building of a brand new economy to solve all the ills in the society?

What about the just over 5, 000 civil servants who abandoned Congress in 2013 and took a ride on the NNP ship that promised so many just over four years ago?

The Grenadian electorate will be giving answers to all these questions in the not-too-distant future.

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