The roadmap for NDC!!!The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has put on showcase for the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique seven of the fifteen candidates to face the electorate in the upcoming general elections.
However, THE NEW TODAY believes that the unveiling of the remaining eight candidates will be the key in determining whether the party has any chance of unseating the incumbent New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell on Polling Day.
Most of the eight will be running on Congress tickets in the important Eastern plank of the island where it would have to dominate in order to have any chance of taking the minimum of eight seats to form the next government.
The NDC will have to win a minimum of four or five seats in the corridor from St David to St Patrick West to defeat the NNP in the election.
History will show that Congress won six of the seven seats in that part of the island when it enjoyed a more than comfortable 11-4 victory at the polls in the 2008 general election.
The only NDC candidate who lost was Ingrid Rush against Roland Bhola in St Andrew North-east and those who led the campaign strategy were quick to point out that the loser broke ranks and did not fully participate in the clinical canvassing of the voter’s list that was necessary to win the seat.
The then rampant NDC Team was well equipped with the type of machinery that was put in place since the 1999 clean sweep by Dr. Mitchell to come within 6 votes in 2003 to turn the tide on NNP to obtain one of the major upset victories in general elections on the island.
Congress has to understand that it will not be an easy battle to beat Dr. Mitchell at the polls but if able to do the necessary organised political work to match the NNP in terms of canvassing of the Voter’s list and putting in place an effective election day machinery to bring out the voters then it will be in the race.
Attorney-at-law Dickon Mitchell and his newlook team now charting the course for the main opposition party will have to understand this kind of history in order to plot the course as the Western section of the island cannot be penetrated to bring victory on Election Day.
The party will have to find the right horses to gallop on the race track in St Andrew South-east and St Andrew South-west in order to open up good possibilities for them on the Eastern corridor.
The roadmap to defeat Education Minister Emmalin Pierre will center on the candidate selected to challenge for serious votes in the key Grenville town and Telescope area.
Former Sports Minister for Congress, Patrick Simmons was able to snatch the constituency in the 2008 poll by about 29 votes mainly because he scored heavily in those two areas despite the loss suffered to Minister Pierre in most of the villages coming up from Crochu, Mamma Cannes, Café and the others.
The NDC will have to look at a candidate like Wayne Mitchell who is known to have been associated with The Grenada Movement (TGM) in recent months to enter into some kind of a coalition arrangement with him due to his links in Telescope and grassroots type of politics to try and unseat Mrs. Pierre.
THE NEW TODAY believes that Dickon Mitchell has made the right political move to try and entice popular businessman Andy “Hot Spot” Williams to be the flag-bearer for Congress in the South St. George constituency.
Our intelligence is that Mr. Williams is the one with the greatest possibilities for NDC against Infrastructure Development Minister, Norland Cox who will also be entering frontline politics for the first time on a ticket of the ruling party.
It is clear that Dickon Mitchell has a strategy of trying to woo the young voting population with the traditional base of Congress in order to try and find the numbers that can pose a challenge to PM Mitchell who is still very much hungry and thirsty to hold onto power.
One other constituency that will be crucial for NDC in the upcoming poll is St George North-east which is represented in Parliament by Opposition Leader, Tobias Clement.
It was once considered as a garrison of Congress under the late party founder and former educator and historian George Brizan who dominated the area from 1984 to 1999 when he lost in the first clean sweep of the polls by NNP.
THE NEW TODAY senses that one of the weak links in the NDC chain is its reluctance to enter into coalition arrangements which has been the hallmark of its rival, the NNP of Dr. Mitchell which has dominated the local political landscape for most of the past 30 years.
Mr. Clement is a very astute politician and with the backing of the Congress machinery and the non-aligned supporters in the constituency who did not like his treatment from Dr. Mitchell and company, will be more formidable than any of the candidates being bandied about to represent the opposition in the seat.
The NDC might be making a mistake by sending the wrong signal to the rest of the country that it is not prepared to work with “others” in the national interest.
Hopefully, the NDC might finally get to understand the wisdom in the words uttered by former Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Basdeo Panday that there are no permanent friends nor enemies in politics which has its own morality.
The ball is in the NDC half of the court to determine its own destiny in the upcoming general election.