Former confidant of Mitchell and NNP’s executive and now a member of NDC, Terrance Forrester, is hoping to represent the St. George South constituency. Do the electoral experiences and as Her Majesty Opposition carry any weight in guaranteeing Clement a leadership position in NDC? Would it be NDC’s wise reasoning, based also on empirical examples, to have Clement as its candidate in St. George North East, since he is the sitting representative? On a point of reference; does Hon. Clement have the political background and strength as Hon. Peter David who was dismissed, along with other political heavyweights, on 30 September 2012 from NDC and then were welcomed into NNP’s camp on 20 May 2014? Whilst every case must be treated on its merit, political astuteness and diligence would demonstrate comparative analysis on context, chances and costs.
The Grenada Movement (TGM) of former Advisor and Ambassador for Mitchell’s government, Patrick Antoine, may be one of the other political organisations, groups and individuals which NDC is engaging in its “serious recruitment drive” on a coalition of forces; refer to the Joint Press Conference of Opposition Leader and NDC on 11 August 2021. It should be obvious that “striking a deal” with TGM would not be ‘simple and quick’ relative to Clement’s case, since Antoine comes with his “new development agenda” ideas and a contingent of key personnel similar to David’s scenario, on whose behalf he also has to negotiate. Whilst the three Opposition Senators may not push for vying in the elections, TGM is stocked with politically-minded members such as Kerry-Velon Simmons, leader of The Progressive Party, and Terry Noel, the resigned Senator stressing to have a “sense of patriotism” demanding active participation. Critically though; which constituency would be most ‘feasible and certain’ for NDC to allow Antoine to run so as to ensure he becomes the prime minister of Grenada? The NDC does not only need to be conscious of what could play at its Convention with the influx of new intakes (typically old NNP-runaways and the young ‘Change Activists’), but also what if the Coalition fail to win the polls outright.
The NDC could be the greatest casualty if the Coalition fail, which would lay TGM as a ‘real force’ in the political landscape. How is it though that Antoine has not had any telling pronouncements for responding to the disturbing issues regarding the electoral mechanism, with the passionate and profuse tones that he radiates regarding his ‘lead reason’ for transitioning TGM from a Non-governmental Organisation to a political outfit? Notwithstanding; it would be foolhardy for NDC, or its “United Alternative”, to take ‘comfort and hope’ for victory, on the basis of the great result of the opposition St. Lucia Labour Party on 26 July 2021; without they having a sound study of at least the political and electoral environment, party’s organization and preparedness, and the collaborative efforts of pertinent players there. It would also be ‘ludicrous and untamed’ for NDC to be delighted in having ‘special closed talks’ with the PEO, when such occurrences had some ‘cumbersome and convoluted’ amendments to the Representation of the People Act (RPA), which helped to the party’s loss in 2018. Review the past internet article “Could Grenada’s 2018 Voting Be Declared Unethical and Illegal?”, in awe.
Has anyone grasped how ‘unchecked’ Regulations and Amendments can pose loopholes for frauds and failures? Concerning the RPA; shouldn’t it be for questioning the ridiculous provisions, for those wishing to register to vote, on giving “Proof of ordinary residence” (Amendment, Act 13 of 2018)? Moreover; have there been any efforts to connect with the legal activists in Dominica who are addressing the technicalities and applications on Election Offences, particularly Treating (RPA part VII, section 89)? The similarities of the constitutions and laws throughout the English Caribbean, and particularly on the vexing mamaguyisms and manipulations in the electoral mechanism, should cause concerned Grenadians of status to chase solidarity, insights and know-hows.
Should NDC continue to remain ‘naïve and passive’ on the electoral mechanism, despite also taking confidence in the widespread disgruntlements towards the Government and the efforts towards the coalition of forces? Would Mitchell remain ‘complacent and cool’ about his prospect in the elections, in light of the efforts for the Coalition and the closing of his reign? Mitchell has never shown backdown from being active, alert and astute about the electoral mechanism. He has taken nothing for granted or left no stone unturned, whether when in office or out of office, but always making preemptive strikes (warranted or not) which usually bring him strides.
How dedicated and supportive is NDC and the other leading entities including the Social Partners on undertaking a holistic approach on the electoral mechanism? There is no refuting of the misleading communications and conducts of the PEO, no spurring for the recommendations by the elections’ observer teams, and no heeding on the related articles including “An Open Appeal to Grenada’s Governor-General On The Parliamentary Elections Office” and “Patriotic Grenadians Assist In Suing The Supervisor Of Elections”. In fact; it appears that it is not expedient and in its interest for NDC to associate with the Grouping of Civil Society Organisations on combatting the electoral mechanism, even if, it (NDC) has been calling and levelling responsibility to everyone on the Cause.
Could anything more be said for persuading all and sundry that a coalition for the outstanding assault on Grenada’s electoral mechanism is most crucial! Particularly for the NDC as a political organ; what more than to remind that the lack of being ‘clinical, precise and updated’ robbed itself from forming the Government in 2003, at least via the Carriacou & Petite Martinique constituency with attorney George Prime, on a ‘trivial’ RPA matter.
By J K Roberts, Sound Public Policies Advocate