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D Day is here delegates – vote wisely

Decision day is almost upon delegates and members of the NDC as the party will elect a new executive in just over a week’s time. This is a make or break elections for the NDC and the quality of persons elected to the executive will determine the party’s success or lack thereof in the upcoming general elections. Therefore a closer look at candidates vying for positions on the Executive is warranted.

According to reports three persons appear to be in the running for party leader, Terry Forrester, Phillip Telesford and Dickon Mitchell. The first name mentioned Terry Forrester, a former executive member of the ruling NNP is a long shot candidate. Although, Terry is an affable character he may not be taken seriously by some groupings within the party. He recently threw his hat into the ring and doesn’t appear to have significant backing from the party base.

Phillip Telesford who been campaigning for some time has not gotten the kind of traction he was expecting despite being a long standing member who held an executive position within the party. Phillip does not have a solid base of support within the party and in the constituency which he intends to represent as the party’s standard bearer. He lacks charisma, a deep understanding of politics and is certainly not prepared for the top positon within the party.

The final person on the list is Dickon Mitchell, a young dashing brilliant lawyer who, apparently has gained momentum in the past week and is now considered the front runner for the position. Not well known nationally, he appears to have strong support among certain sections of the business community and some within the party’s hierarchy.

Dickon is the best candidate among the three mentioned and would even be a better choice than the rejected former political leader should he attempt to make a last ditch effort on the day of the convention. Although, he has some shortcomings Dickon represents change, a departure from the toxic bunch who led the party over the last two election cycles.

Many who misread the last article, titled Time is Running Out for NDC, may think I am opposed to Dickon, however I raised those issues for him, his handlers and party strategists to consider and properly prepare him for the challenges ahead.

Rather than try to create this image of Dickon as a bright young lawyer backed by big business, let people know he is the son of a single parent mother from Thebaide, St. David’s who worked hard to get his law degree and become one of the leading corporate lawyers on the island.

Dickon is a young man of integrity and impeccable character who has a passion for changing the culture of politics in Grenada to the benefit of all, in particular the working class.

He may not be the type of young man who frequent the blocks to cultivate convenient opportunistic relationships around election time then disappear for the next four years, however those who know him would tell you he has not moved away from his roots and is loyal to his friends.

Grenadians living in Canada would be able to tell of his mother’s generosity to those in need of assistance.

Rather than take offense to what was written and get all defensive, the team around Dickon should be doing intensive analysis and strategic thinking to bring his story to the people and bolster his image, don’t wait for the incumbent to define and create a negative image of him as was done with Nazim Burke.

From all indications Dickon Mitchell will be the next political leader of the NDC, therefore his team should be prepared to have him hit the ground running on Monday, November first presenting him to the people.

The position of deputy political leader has Claudette Joseph, Adrian Thomas and Lennox Andrews as contenders. None of these candidates should be given the nod by delegates. Both Claudette Joseph and Adrian Thomas are part of the old guard of the party, considered abysmal failures.

Lennox Andrews, the other candidate is too into himself to be taken seriously, is seen as a scatter headed eccentric prone to putting his foot into his mouth. Lennox is somewhat confused, he doesn’t know whether he is a technocrat or politician and comes across incoherent at times.

All three candidates lack serious political acumen and can’t identify, connect with, nor represent the blowing winds of change in the party and the wider society. It might be more prudent, politically, to ask Tevin Andrews from Carriacou to contest the position of deputy.

Although, Tevin has indicted his intention to contest for the position of party Chairman it will better serve him and the party if he goes for deputy political leader. Young articulate with some political experience, Tevin represents change that youthful energy yearned for in politics today.

One of the few party caretakers who never stopped after the last general elections, advocating for his constituents, Tevin appears to have political fight and fortitude characteristics badly lacking among current NDC leaders. He should seriously decide to contest for deputy political leader and be given the support by delegates for he has a lot to offer the party at that level and it will bolster his chances of taking the Carriacou seat from the incumbent.

Although, all eyes are on the contest for political leader the important post of General Secretary should be of concern since the candidates  vying for that position are weak and do not have what it takes to effectively function at that level. After seeing the damage done by current outgoing toxic and deceitful General Secretary it is imperative delegates get it right this time by voting someone competent and capable.

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If the party is not able to agree on a consensus candidate going into the convention then delegates will have to nominate a suitable candidate on the floor. Among the persons who immediately come to mind that could handle the position of General Secretary are Stephen Fletcher and Gloria Thomas.

The party hierarchy should nudge one of them to step up and take the mantle for the sake of the country. The General Secretary position is considered the life blood of the organisation which must be dutifully managed by someone with integrity, strong political and organisational skills. Delegates should demand the party search must go beyond the candidates listed if they are to select the right person to fill this important position.

The contest for Public Relations Officer is now a straight fight between Jason Skeete and Orlando Romain. Although, Jason has experience in broadcasting, Orlando is the better all-round candidate with his experience in marketing and communications. Orlando’s skills and creative youthful energy would enable him to raise the profile of the party and repair its image, particularly, among young people. Delegates should have an easy choice in voting for Orlando Romain who is quite capable of making the party visible and active again in the eyes of the electorate.

The position of Chairman is another position party elders and hierarchy should try and persuade Tevin Andrews against contesting in favour of deputy political leader for which he is a better fit. This would allow for a more seasoned, mature consensus builder to be identified for that position.

If Stephen Fletcher can’t be swayed to take up the General Secretary position this is one he should strongly consider and all delegates must throw their support behind him. The current inept Chairman, considered part of the old guard, must not be allowed to continue in that position.

Already considered a failure like Glen Noel and Nazim Burke, he can’t be allowed to remain as Chairman. This is further reinforced by an apparent conflict of interest as a member of the search committee putting himself up for office.

Delegates, the task you must perform on convention day of voting in a new executive is monumental and the choices made will be consequential to the party’s very survival as a viable political organisation.

You must choose wisely. Is either you decide to elect abject failure, connivance, deceit, the past toxic culture represented by Nazim Burke, Adrian Thomas, Lerry Barry, Claudette Joseph, Terrence Moore, Lenox Andrews, Maria Pascal, Phillip Telesford, and boogeyman Glen Noel or you choose hope, optimism, truthful, principled and straight forward leadership.

Delegates, it is either you choose the past and its failures or the future with endless possibilities for success to bring the dawn of a new era of politics.

You can’t go back to Nazim Burke, who abandoned the party when he was most needed, and his failed cronies all considered cannon fodder for the NNP. They will be beaten to a pulp in the upcoming elections if voted back on the executive. No wonder why NNP operatives and collaborators among them are pushing these negative vibes against Dickon and the group of young leaders who have come forward to help rebuild the party.

Delegates you have to put aside the clannish tendency that is part of the NDC culture and vote for the young dynamic leaders who will help the party to rebrand and reinvigorate itself. The country is calling for new leadership and a new era in politics.

Dickon Mitchell and the young leaders have answered that call and will put the party in a solid position to win the upcoming general election. A vote for Nazim Burke and his bunch of perennial losers is a vote for defeat. A vote for a new dynamic young executive is a vote for the future and victory in the upcoming general elections.

Nazim Burke doesn’t own NDC, he can’t abandoned the party and return at will, neither can his cronies continue to repeatedly loose in general election contests yet think they are entitled to run again.

Delegates must be aware of the deceptive stance of Glen Noel and Nazim Burke both not revealing if they will run for office or be open for nomination on the floor. Listening to Glen Noel on Tuesday morning trying to falsely take credit for the influx of new members and hide his attempt to give more power to the General Secretary, necessitated by the pandemic, under the guise of constitutional reform, it is no wonder why he would want to run again for that position.

Delegates and young leaders must be aware of the wolf Glen appearing to be a sheep now that his bad deeds have caught up with him. Delegates the time has come to vote winners over losers, the faith of the party are in your hands, make your voices heard loud and clear.

Make your voices heard loud and clear on convention day, vote Dickon Mitchell as political leader, Tevin Andrews, deputy political leader, Stephen Fletcher or Gloria Thomas for General Secretary, Orlando Romain for Public Relations Officer, Stephen Fletcher for party Chairman, if he doesn’t go for General Secretary.

Vote for change and victory at the polls.

Special Correspondent