“These persons I assure you will commit to putting the residents of their respective constituencies first,” promised political leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), as the party launched its first batch of candidates for the upcoming general election.
“Their first task is to represent the people of their constituencies from this day forward and we will represent whether or not there is an election, whether they sit in or out of parliament because it is about representing the ordinary citizens, listening to their advice, concerns and ensuring that as a community we collectively address them,” expressed party leader Dickon Mitchell.
The candidates, who Mitchell said have taken up the mantle with “great humility and pride,” understanding “the sacrifice and commitment to people, public service, good governance, hard work and to be answerable to the people of Grenada” are as follows: Claudette Joseph for the Town of St George, Kerryne James – St John, Johnathan La Crette – St George North West, Joseph Andall – St Patrick West, Quinc Britton – St Mark, party chairman Tevin Andrews for Carriacou and Petite Martinique and Mitchell – St David.
Joseph, who contested the last election but lost to the New National Party’s current MP Peter David,
said this campaign will be different as she asked constituents for their support. She said her focus will be on permanent jobs, better housing, wealth creation and empowerment, working with the youth in sports, culture and getting supplemental jobs. The attorney-at-law by profession noted that the town, which is over 300 years old, is without a public library; thus, her focus is to see to its restoration, along with heritage buildings.
James, who is the youngest senator that served in Grenada’s parliament and is the chairman of the National Democratic Youth Movement, said she stepped forward because of her desire to see “real development, her love for politics and nation building.” As she urged constituents to play a role in the change they wish to see, James offered herself “to be a servant of the people.”
Former schoolteacher, principal and a human resource manager in the private sector, La Crette, who intends to challenge current MP and prime minister Dr the Right Hon Keith Mitchell, is confident about his chances at the polls. “The current MP for St George’s North West, my good friend, he has served and he has paid his dues, and we thank him for his contribution to politics and the constituency of almost 40 years of representation. But we think that it is time that the constituency be transformed into a community with sustainable development initiatives for all to benefit from.”
La Crette promises to serve without prejudice and ill will but in the interest and wellbeing of all constituents.
Andall, who returns for the third time, pledges to continue to be an advocate for the parish on issues including to save Mt Rodney beach and for a “complete” breakwater project.
The former leader of the party promises “effective representation by being in constant touch” with the people, citing the need for economic and social development, a focus on ICT and utilization of local products.
Youth activist Britton said he stepped forward to see the change he wishes to see in St Mark. Foreseeing a challenging task ahead, he yet commits to the development of the community.
An active member of the youth arm of the party, Quinc is also a leader in the constituency branch. Professionally, he is trained in music and has tutored in music theory. Quinc is now employed as a manager in a private sector entity in the auto rental industry.
Andrews, who returns as caretaker, said the issues of the sister isles have been neglected. Nonetheless, he tells residents that the time is now for change.
Mitchell, who is also an attorney-at-law, promises to provide access to basic sporting facilities, a jetty and storage facilities for fishermen, a central public space for vendors to sell their produce.
He wishes to see the parish transformed into a commercial hub where full employment is provided to residents.
In addition, Mitchell promises skills training centres throughout the State, replanting of national spices, ensuring the Grenada Housing Authority provides affordable housing to citizens, zoning law to control prices on lands and support to entrepreneurs.
According to Mitchell, who became party leader last October, said more candidates will be launched in the coming weeks, promising that the nation will be “proud and reinvigorated” by the selections.
Wednesday’s launch was held at Helena’s Ocean View Restaurant in Sauteurs, St. Patrick and was attended by supporters and members including former pollical leader and prime minister Tillman Thomas.
The upcoming general election is constitutionally due in 2023.