The New Today

NNP at the crossroads!!!

Grenadians have been focused since the change of government following the June 23 general election largely with the happenings around new Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his Cabinet of Ministers.

However, some attention should also be paid to what is taking place in the now opposition New National Party (NNP) of defeated Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell who suffered a most humiliating defeat at the polls that impacted heavily on the type of legacy that he wanted in order to end his political career.

This unfortunate turn of events for the NNP has led to unease within its ranks and calls for the aging 75-year old dominant political figure to finally make his exit much sooner rather than later.

The successor to Dr. Mitchell is very important as it has bearings and implications for the chances of the NNP in the next general election.

Two names that immediately come to mind as front runners for the job are the former Agriculture Minister, Peter David who was once associated with the now ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Emmalin Pierre, the Member of Parliament for St Andrew South-east who held the position of Minister of Education in the fallen government.

David is considered as the one with the likeability factor in certain quarters of the country but has too many enemies within the ranks of the party to rise to the most powerful post within the NNP.

Ironically, Dr. Mitchell is now coming under fire from former soldier in the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution, Kennedy Budhlall who played a key role in the leadership change within NNP in 1989 when the defeated Prime Minister toppled Herbert Blaize for the top party position.

Budhlall has already hit the ground in a campaign mood, promoting Peter David as the next leader to take over NNP.

The power brokers within the NNP might not be willing to take a chance with the former Congress General Secretary given his current age and the fact that he will be approaching 70 when the next election is most likely to be called by Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.

It will be a major gamble to invest in Peter David when the country is now increasingly showing signs of looking in the direction of the new and younger generation of political leaders.

The signs are also emerging that the outgoing Prime Minister does not have Peter David high on his list as the successor.

The body language between the two seemed to be rather cold when they were last seen in the same space on Monday at the ceremony held at the Annex of the Trade Center in which Dr. Mitchell took the oath of office to become the new Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

There was no longer the camaraderie between them and the two barely shook hands as David exited the building after the six elected NNP MP’s posed for photo journalists to take photos of the NNP-6 to sit in the Lower House.

Both Dr. Mitchell and Peter David are the only two current major political figures within the NNP who have the ability to raise large sums of money to do their political work.

It is doubtful that Dr. Mitchell, who has become filthy rich over the years, will be prepared to use his money to promote a new political leader for the party.

Emmalin Pierre might appeal to rural Grenada but not the intellectual class and other important sectors of the country.

In addition, the former Education Minister might not be able to attract the necessary finances to make the NNP a very attractive challenger in the next election.

The opposition party might have to look outside of Peter David and Emmalin Pierre to find the leader that is needed to challenge new Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.

THE NEW TODAY is doubtful that the UK-based Akima Paul-Lambert will be willing to leave her lucrative legal practice and come back home to take over a party in the opposition and equally be prepared to do the hard work that is now necessary to try and win back the seat of government.

Paul-Lambert might have relished the prospects of returning home to contest the St Mark seat in a by-election with the veteran Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen stepping down and then given the post of Deputy Political Leader and Number two in the government if NNP had won the June 23 election.

THE NEW TODAY sees the former leader of THE GRENADA MOVEMENT (TGM), Dr. Patrick Antoine as now fancying himself to make a bid for the top post in NNP with Dr. Mitchell finally now on his way out.

It has always been Dr. Antoine’s ambition to become the Prime Minister of the country and he should not be ruled out as one who is willing to make a bid for the top post in NNP.

The revival of the NNP, minus the dictatorial tendencies of its current political leader, is definitely needed as part of the two party democratic system in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

However, the new leader has to be mindful of the fact that an almost new slate of candidates has to be found in rather short order to replace the likes of Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Alvin Da Breo, Gregory Bowen, Oliver Joseph, Yolande Bain-Horsford, Pamela Moses, and Victor Phillip, as NNP is now at the crossroads.

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