A former government minister in the 2008-13 Congress government is putting his support behind Minister of Mobilisation Implementation and Transformation (MIT), Andy Williams to replace Learrie Barrie as the General Secretary of Congress at Sunday’s convention of the ruling party.
The senior party member who preferred to remain anonymous said that nothing much has been heard of Barry since he took over as General Secretary of the party over a year ago.
According to the former government minister, the current General Secretary is bringing the party to a convention “in violation of the party’s constitution.”
He pointed out that under Barry’s stewardship, a General Council of the party had to be held at which the date for the Convention had to be fixed and this never happened and was “a breach” of the NDC Constitution.
“…The General Council has two other major functions – a mid-term reporting on the performance (of the party) and the Selection of a Disciplinary Committee – that is where the Disciplinary Committee of the party is selected and the second function is to set a date for the next convention and no General Council was held.”
The ex-government minister told THE NEW TODAY that the NDC is currently functioning without any Youth or Women’s arm of the party at work.
He said the only thing that is in place at the moment for the ruling party is some party branches and that these are driven by the Caretakers and not the General Secretary.
“Learrie is a mere talker – a good talker,” he remarked.
According to the ex-government Minister, he would throw his support behind the senior government minister and was confident that if the NDC puts the right structures in place at the convention then Williams can get the organisational work done for the party.
“I see Andy as a kind of Peter David – in other words if Andy sets up a structure in place that will do the nuts and bolts work, the energy that he has – he is a likeable guy, he touches base with people and things like that, so I think that he will bring that (factor).”
“Peter has that and he was successful and he had other persons around him who (were) doing the kinds of nuts and bolts. So if Andy has a team he will not be overburdened with the ministry work because he would also have a good team of Assistant General Secretaries and other people around him who will be assisting to be on the ground and keeping the party groups going and things like that.”
“So I personally will support Andy. In my view I will support him over Learrie. If they put structures in place and things like that Andy will do a good job.”
Minister Williams is said to be getting the backing for the key position of General Secretary from several Cabinet colleagues while Barry’s strength is believed to be in some of the constituencies in St. Andrew.
The battle for the position of NDC General Secretary will be one of the highlights of the convention on Sunday at MacDonald College in St Patrick along with the tussle for Number Two position which is a straight fight between Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Andall and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Senator Claudette Joseph.
The convention will be the first for Congress since it captured the seat of government at the Ministerial Complex in the Botanical Gardens from the New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell in the June 23, 2022 general election.