Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has sent an ominous warning to former Finance Minister, Nazim Burke that the upcoming general election would result in his political demise in the country.
Addressing a public meeting of the ruling New National Party (NNP) Sunday night on the Carenage in St. George, Dr. Mitchell warned that
Burke and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will be defeated heavily in the poll.
He said it will be the last election to be ever contested by Burke who is seeking to regain the St. George North-east seat that he lost in the 2013 election to NNP’s Tobias Clement.
Speculation is rife that the main trust of the NNP platform in the campaign for the election will be centered on Burke and his performance of Minister of Finance.
According to PM Mitchell, Congress made a really bad decision to elect Burke as its leader as replacement for former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas who quit frontline politics after the heavy 2013 defeat to NNP.
Dr. Mitchell repeated previous assertions that Burke was the one to be blamed for the bitter internal feuding within Congress that led to the September 2012 expulsions of several top members of the NDC leadership.
NDC delegates at the party’s annual convention voted overwhelmingly to expel General Secretary and former Foreign Affairs Minister Peter David, fellow government ministers Karl Hood, Joseph Gilbert, Glynis Roberts, and Michael Church, along with Pastor Stanford Simon and trade unionist Chester Humphrey at the height of protracted feuding within the hierarchy of the party.
David was identified as leader of the so-called Group of Rebels who was accused of trying to undermine the leadership of Prime Minister Thomas.
Stating that the 2008-13 reign of Congress was a “tough” period in the country with the “confidence level” of Grenadians “at the lowest we have seen it”, Dr. Mitchell said the NDC took the wrong decision to appoint Burke to emerge as its new leader.
He said: … The man (Burke), who was architect of the Grenadian economy that destroyed the National Democratic Congress (NDC), got rid of some of (the) best personnel, this is the same man that they turned around and make leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)”.
The Grenadian leader insinuated that the reign of Burke as a politician and as leader of NDC will be stripped from him as a result of the NNP victory in the upcoming general election.
He charged that the NDC was disappearing as a political organisation in the country under Burke’s stewardship.
“…Many members of the NDC who are supposed to be potential candidates are saying people telling them, they could vote for them but they can’t vote for their leader. I have never heard in my entire life and I have lived long enough, where (in) a political party, the leadership is the one they have to hide”, he said.
“…Usually you will find that there are some problems here and there in some political organisation or business but the leadership of that business or organisation or sporting team is the one you want to showcase but in this case, Sisters and Brothers, you have to hide the leader of the National Democratic Congress. Well this is the last election that he would have to hide because this one would see the end of the leadership of the National Democratic Congress”, he added.
Dr. Mitchell did not give any hints about the date for the poll but said that the NNP will have all its 15 Caretakers for the constituencies in place in 6 weeks time.
The NNP meeting was also addressed by David, the former NDC executive member and current Assistant General Secretary in the ruling party and prospective candidate for the Town of St. George.
David used the platform to virtually declare himself as the next elected Member of Parliament for the town against his opponents.
“I want to say to everybody out there that if you look at what is happening within the party, it is exciting times ahead, brothers and sisters. I want to thank the people of the town of St. George for the support they have shown me over the years. My mother born right on the ground there so the town of St. George is where I come from.
“…I learnt to swim right in the wharf there so the town of the St. George is where I come from but I hear they bring a candidate in town.
I don’t know who it is but whoever it is that’s coming in the town of St. George to run, tell them it’s blows from the people of the town and is blows throughout the country.
Congress has reportedly earmarked female attorney-at-law, Claudette Joseph as its likely candidate in the upcoming poll.
David won the town seat in the 2003 and 2008 elections on the platform of NDC but did not contest the 2013 poll after he was expelled from Congress.
A barrister-at-law by profession, the former NDC member said he was confident that he can win the seat for NNP.
David is among ten Constituency Caretakers announced by the ruling party for the General Election.
The remaining five are expected to be announced within six weeks.
Prime Minister Mitchell said after this process is completed the ruling party will hold a massive public meeting at which the date for the election will be given.