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Dickon Mitchell vs. Oliver Joseph

Dickon Mitchell (L) – the new Political Leader of Congress; Foreign Minister Oliver Joseph (R) – can expect stern opposition in the upcoming general election

A leading Grenadian political strategist favours newly elected Congress leader, Dickon Mitchell to win the St David constituency from Foreign Minister Oliver Joseph of the ruling New National Party (NNP) in the upcoming general election.

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY, the female political figure said that she is picking up information that Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell is not happy with the political work being done on the ground by Minister Joseph to hold onto the seat in the face of the expected strong challenge from Dickon Mitchell.

She spoke of information coming from inside the NNP quarters about the Prime Minister using very strong words to the senior government minister on his performance in the constituency that was once viewed as a stronghold of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

She said the word from top-ranking NNP officials is that Dr. Mitchell is complaining that the Foreign Minister who easily won the seat in the 2013 and 2018 general elections has seemingly given up the constituency already to the new NDC political leader.

“He cussing him – he don’t happy with Oliver. I hear Keith cussing him and telling him that he give up the constituency already – like you drop your shoulders already,” said the source who is close to the NNP camp.

According to the political strategist, there is a feeling inside the NNP camp that Minister Joseph is considered as “too lazy politically.”

“Oliver likes to stop by a shop (to drink as part of his political work but) to really sit down and plan and think out technical work for the constituency, he doesn’t have it,” she said.

The political figure disclosed that based on information coming from an activist for NNP within its party office in St David, “things not looking good on the ground” for Minister Joseph at the moment.

“It ain’t looking good for him,” she told THE NEW TODAY.

The political strategist who is familiar with the constituency pointed out that the female employee who runs the NNP office in St David “is more politically savvy than Oliver (Joseph).”

“She knows what it takes to win,” she said.

The political figure also alluded to the fact that St David is a very peculiar constituency in Grenada with a very educated electorate that was easily associated with Congress over the years through previous Members of Parliament like late attorney-at-law, Michael Andrew and his successor, Michael Dennis Lett, a surveyor by profession.

She said the “level of reasoning” of the electorate in St David is considered to be at a much higher level that some other constituencies on the island.

St David was the birthplace of the New Jewel Movement (NJM), led by executed Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, which created history in the English-speaking Caribbean by staging the first coup d’etat against an elected government when it removed Prime Minister Eric Gairy from power on March 13, 1979.

Minister Joseph is known to have told close aides that he is not really up to elective politics and would prefer to sit in Parliament to serve government as a member of the Upper House in the Senate.

The political strategist believes that the upcoming general election could be more competitive than in 2013 and 2018 as the ruling party is seemingly showing signs of becoming fatigue in office and that some of the NNP field workers are giving mixed signals about the chances of several Ministers in their constituencies.

She said the NNP “foot soldiers” are worried about the two St Patrick seats as well as the one on the sister isle of Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

There are reports that the NNP leadership is having second thoughts about the newly appointed Senator, Victor Phillip who was selected as the Caretaker for St Patrick West as replacement for former Finance and Education Minister, Anthony Boatswain.

“He (Phillip) is not getting the traction,” said the strategist.

Speculation is rife that the NNP hierarchy is giving serious thought to moving Minister Pamela Moses from St Patrick East to St Patrick West and replacing her with a young female from the River Sallee area who is a graduate from St. George’s University (SGU).

Although Prime Minister Mitchell can remain in office until mid-2023, political pundits are predicting fresh election within the next six months given the level of campaign work that is taking place on the island in the Covid-19 environment.

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