The New Today

The rise of Dickon Mitchell!!!

With general elections only 13 days away, Grenadians can feel proud of the fact that the campaign has so far been conducted rather peacefully unlike some other islands in the Caribbean.

The only incident of note took place earlier in the week in which two bottles were thrown by “a coward” in the direction of opposition candidate Claudette Joseph who was speaking on the platform of her colleague Phillip Telesford of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the St George South-east constituency.

THE NEW TODAY is not of the view that the incumbent, Gregory Bowen, the Minister of Finance in the ruling New National Party (NNP) would have sanctioned the throwing of missiles at an opponent platform.

This had to be the work of some “lumpen” element as these people were styled during the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution.

Both sides of the political divide in the Spice Isle have levelled accusations against each other of their respective supporters destroying posters and other election paraphernalia including some damage to billboards.

There is definite evidence of this in some constituencies but not all posters that have been removed were done by the human factor.

It is quite noticeable that some posters were not put up properly and the elements of the wind and rain should be blamed for the removal of some posters.

However, Grenada has not seen the kinds of political violence that has happened in recent elections in some islands like Jamaica, St. Lucia and St Vincent & The Grenadines.

It was outside of an election year that Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves was struck in the head by a stone that resulted in blood streaming down his face as tension rose with supporters of the opposition.

This current election campaign in Grenada has witnessed a bruising battle and contest between the two main parties – NNP and NDC – but more or less a battle between the incumbent Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell and the Political Leader of Congress, 44-year old attorney-at-law, Dickon Mitchell.

The current Prime Minister has never had to fight for his political life and legacy in the last two elections of 2013 and 2018, as he has to do now.

Dickon Mitchell, a virtual newcomer to Grenadian politics has taken the fight straight to PM Mitchell and has caught him totally off-guard.

The veteran Grenadian leader is no political fool and will understand that he has a serious challenge on his hand from Dickon Mitchell who has been able to connect with the youthful population to bring renewed life into the Congress party.

THE NEW TODAY believes strongly that Dr. Mitchell was over confident that NDC was left for dead following back-to-back defeats at the polls in the last two elections when it failed to win a single seat to sit in Parliament.

It is amazing to see the complete turnaround in NDC stock as Dickon Mitchell took over the leadership of the party just over seven months ago and with a group of youngsters like Orlando Romain, Andy Williams and Johnathan La Crette was able to reignite the fire into the party like 2008 when NNP was defeated 11-4 at the polls.

Dickon Mitchell is unlike most of the other past leaders of NDC such as Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, Nazim Burke and Franka Alexis-Bernardine in his approach to the job at hand.

All of his three predecessors were never involved in full-time politics as they were otherwise engaged in jobs within their profession in order to make a daily living.

Dickon Mitchell has abandoned his legal practice and joined current PM Mitchell as the only frontliners who can be considered as full-time politicians.

The NDC leader has visited most villages in Grenada in an effort to promote himself and to get to know the people at the grassroot level.

This is the same route that PM Mitchell travelled after he won only two seats in the 1990 general election and five years later was able to win the job of Prime Minister with a narrow 8-7 victory at the polls.

THE NEW TODAY is convinced that the Dickonmania Fever has gripped the country and is mainly responsible for the rise in fortunes of Congress for the June 23 general election.

Any winning NDC candidate in the upcoming general election should be thankful for the intervention of Dickon Mitchell in Grenadian politics.

It is our contention that a vast majority of the Grenadian electorate that vote for NDC on June 23 will do so based on their love, respect and admiration for Dickon Mitchell who did not do like many and shied away from involvement in the national politics but came forward, put his hand up in the air as one who was prepared to stand up against the most successful Prime Minister in our electoral politics.

Dickon Mitchell and Andy Williams have even benefitted tremendously from the action of Prime Minister Mitchell to popularise them throughout the length and breath of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique by the manner in which he hounded them down on the platform.

Dickon Mitchell in particular has become a household name and a powerful political force in the country and Grenada might well be witnessing the birth of a new leader who has ushered in the generational shift in the body politics of the Spice Isle.

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