The current stand-off in public between former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and his St Andrew North-west Member of Parliament, Delma Thomas is not healthy for the building of our democratic institution and process.
The party elders need to step in and put an end to the impasse which is not healthy for our democracy and can only serve to hurt the party in the long run.
The Keith Mitchell/Delma Thomas issue could affect the NNP and its chances at the polls for several years if not brought under control at the earliest possible opportunity.
Dr. Mitchell is only sinking further in the eyes of many right-thinking Grenadians by the recent revelations made by his former Minister of Social Development.
The female MP has brought the credibility of her Political Leader into question when she told a radio host this week that over the years the ex-Prime Minister had been preaching unity among government and opposition forces as head of the government but once the table has turned around with Congress now occupying the seat of power in the Botanical Gardens, it is now a complete turnaround in that position.
It sharply brings into focus what many have seen over the years – The Two Faces of Dr. Mitchell.
THE NEW TODAY has indicated over the years that the NNP Political Leader should not be judged by his utterances on any subject matter but his actions.
Delma Thomas was known in NNP circles to be one who saw Dr. Mitchell as her political mentor but her eyes have now opened up to the true colours of her leader who is not to be trusted.
The reality is that Grenada needs to continue to always enhance its democracy by having a strong opposition in Parliament and that is the role of the NNP at the moment.
A functioning and viable NNP will help to keep the Dickon Mitchell-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration in check and help to prevent anyone in the government from engaging in excesses that can hurt the country in the long run.
The island’s current main opposition party will continue to be in turmoil as long as its ageing leader continues to remain in charge and try to influence the direction that the party should look towards in projecting itself for the future.
The anti-democratic and dictatorial tendencies of Dr. Mitchell came out in the open in the aftermath of his electoral defeat at the hands of the young 44-year old attorney-at-law of Congress when he refused to offer his resignation to the party in keeping with democratic norms and practices.
The electorate was sending a clear message that the winds of change had descended upon Grenada and that the young people had finally come of age and wanted to take charge of their own destiny and not leave things totally in the hands of those who had overstayed their time and purpose in office.
It cannot be denied that the results of the June 23, 2022 poll show that the NNP has a solid base of supporters in the country despite the fact that the party is now in crisis.
However, the party will not be able to keep and maintain the base if the current leader who will be approaching 80 at the time of the next general election is seen anywhere in close proximity in the leadership corridors as he is no longer considered a person of trustworthiness.
The Delma Thomas situation should not be taken lightly as many others within the hierarchy of the party are behind the scene giving her moral and other forms of support in their endeavour to see the exit of Dr. Mitchell as their Political Leader.
It is apparent that Dr. Mitchell is not prepared to accept the reality that he is now a political relic in the country and seeking to hold onto power will only do serious collateral damage to the NNP brand.
It is time for the former Prime Minister to realise that times have changed in terms of the politics of the 1970’s and even earlier part of 2000 and that he is no longer the Prime Minister of the country and is lacking the political clout to keep his MP’s in check.
A Prime Minister virtually loses the kind of control he holds over government ministers whenever he is defeated at the polls and forced to languish on the opposition benches in Parliament.
The NNP as a party should be given an opportunity right now by Dr. Mitchell to find its own political leader that is not hand-picked but emerges from an open contest on the convention floor among delegates.
The party will suffer in the current scenario as persons with talent will not want to join or come to the fore with the aging ex-Prime Minister trying to control and influence the process.
The NDC tried many combinations over the past 10 years after the defeat of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas in 2013 at the polls and no one ever saw Dickon Mitchell in the reckoning to take over the leadership of the party.
Today, Dickon Mitchell is the undisputed leader of Congress as a rookie politician with just over 12 months of political experience in charge of a major political party in the country.
Dr. Mitchell needs to bow out and let the democratic breeze blow in the direction of NNP and for the party to find its way with brand new leadership – not recycled persons wanting to come “to the party” to get a shot at the Prime Ministership of the country.