Grenada’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) should not take lightly the outcome of the recent election for Executive positions within the corruption-infested Grenada Olympic Committee (GOC).
THE NEW TODAY sees parallels in the outcome and what can easily happen at the national level whenever Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell decides to ring the bell in search for another 5-year term in office for the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration.
Two persons associated with the Congress party contested positions in the GOC elections and both of them lost the race.
The most interesting battle was for the post of General Secretary in which the heavily tainted Veda Bruno-Victor should have lost but in the end easily defeated Ray Roberts for the post.
In the political scheme of things in the country, Bruno-Victor, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports is a known associate of the ruling party whereas Roberts was NDC’s candidate in the 2018 elections and lost the South St George constituency to current Health Minister Nickolas Steele.
Bruno-Victor is a formidable candidate and is considered as the Trinidad Jack Warner in local sports – a woman who will do anything and everything possible to win.
The information in circulation days before the GOC election was that Roberts and his side were confident of 13 of the 18 votes needed to unseat the incumbent and believed that some of the sporting associations will lean in their direction to bring an end to corruption and wrong-doing within the local Olympic body.
Roberts, a former Senator in Parliament for Labour and a national figure, ended up with only 7 votes as he was white-washed by Bruno-Victor.
It is clear to even the simple minds that the former NDC Candidate for South St. George did not manage to lock down his 13 votes and that the incumbent was able to make inroads and snatch away some of them from him.
It is not an easy task to get someone to vote against an individual who is putting food to eat on the table.
One individual who is very supportive of Bruno-Victor is known to be getting a monthly salary from government in the thousands and a top up from GOC of $2,000.00 a month as a coach.
That is the task which Roberts faced and he had to work hard and in an organised manner to get the required votes to defeat the incumbent.
The NDC did this in 2008 to defeat Mitchell and his NNP which had the most elaborate and expensive of the two political campaigns to come out with a clear and more than comfortable 11-4 victory on election night.
As for the other NDC identifiable candidate who ran for the post of 1st Vice-President in GOC, he did no work to win the position and was beaten by one vote by his opponent.
The NDC has failed to capture a single seat in the last two general elections in Grenada in 2013 and 2018 due to a combination of reasons including their failure to identify the votes needed to win a seat and lock them down until the last ballot is cast on Election Day.
The two NDC candidates in the GOC election also did no organised work out of pure laziness and depended on perceived anti-corruption sentiments to get the vacant positions.
This is the general malaise within the entire Congress party and explains somewhat the reasons for their poor showing at the polls in national elections – their failure in politics to work and secure votes and lock them down from their opponents.
The hierarchy of the NDC failed to understand the importance of its two persons winning the GOC positions and should have engaged in behind the scene work to help their cause which would have been a fillip to their own political organisation going into the national elections.
This kind of laid back approach by Congress would never have happened under the New Jewel Movement (NJM) of Maurice Bishop, Grenada United Labour Party (GUILP) of Sir Eric Matthew Gairy and even the NNP of Dr. Mitchell.
The current Prime Minister understands power and the need to form alliances and to make sure that people who are prepared to support him occupy important positions in all spheres of influence in the country.
The NNP is now at its lowest ebb in the political landscape in the country but is still a very formidable and potent organisation that is prepared to hold onto power at all cost.
With NDC due to hold its annual convention at the end of October, the party has to make a wise choice as to the person given the task as Political Leader to take on the might of the incumbent in the upcoming national poll because it will be another five years in the wilderness.
The individual has to have national appeal.
In the words of the former Political Leader of NDC, George Ignatius Brizan, one must be able to work with the best on hand until better comes.