Leader of the defunct political group known as THE GRENADA MOVEMENT (TGM), Dr. Patrick Antoine is apparently planning a political comeback with the main opposition New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Authoritative sources told THE NEW TODAY that Dr. Antoine has visited Grenada several times in recent months from his Trinidad base to hold talks with Dr. Mitchell who has publicly stated his intention not to contest another general election in the country.
The NNP, the most successful political party in electoral politics since Grenada attained its independence from Britain in 1974, was booted out of office in June 2022 by the newlook National Democratic Congress (NDC) under its 45-year old leader, Dickon Mitchell, an attorney-at-law by profession.
According to a well-placed NNP insider, the former TGM leader has his eyes set on the rural St Andrew South-west seat in which the defeated NNP candidate former Tourism Minister Yolande Bain-Horsford has indicated that she will be bowing out of frontline politics.
He said that Dr. Antoine is seemingly giving support to Dr. Mitchell who is currently engaged in a battle to hold onto the party in the face of an expected challenge from his former Agriculture Minister Peter David, a former General Secretary of the Congress party.
He stated that the former TGM boss is most likely looking to Dr. Mitchell to help him get the top job in the NNP.
“Patrick will not leave his lucrative job to just come and be a minister in a government in Grenada – it is political leader, Prime Minister or nothing else,” said a political analyst.
Dr. Antoine has been a regular speaker on the NNP platform in general election campaigns on the island.
When contacted by THE NEW TODAY on his possible re-entry into the political landscape, the former TGM boss offered the following response: “I’m still recovering from the loss of my dear mother, drawing ever closer to my Jesus and looking after my children. As to talking to NNP, I speak to people on all sides of the political divide both in my professional and personal capacity.”
However, Dr. Antoine did not respond to the specific question on whether he was “eyeing” the St. Andrew South-west seat as a potential candidate for NNP since one of his parents is known to be from the area.
In 2021, Dr. Antoine had formed TGM to challenge the two main political parties on the island – NNP and NDC – but it folded within months of its official launch when he pulled out on the grounds of medical and personal challenges.
Prior to forming his movement, Dr. Antoine had engaged Congress in landing the position of Political Leader but the party hierarchy decided to give the top job to former Education Minister Franka Alexis-Bernadine.
NDC insiders said that Dr. Antoine then put forward a second proposal in high-level meetings that he was prepared to accept the position of Deputy Political Leader but it was rejected and the position went to current Minister of Tourism, Senator Adrian “Persuader” Thomas.
One Congress leader also reported that the TGM leader put forward another proposal on the table for discussion that Thomas should serve for one year and then step down in favour of him getting the position.
With no deal worked out, Dr. Antoine then formed his TGM along with former Congress government minister Michael Church and a few disgruntled members of the party such as Jenny Simon and Faye Thompson.
Weeks later, the TGM leader stunned Grenadians with the following statement in which he announced that he was quitting frontline politics:-
My Fellow Grenadians,
Many of you have raised questions about my apparent retreat from the public political space over the past several months. These questions are quite appropriate, as anyone presenting themself for public office is obligated to be open about their readiness to both engage and represent the interests of the people to the best of their ability.
When I commenced my public engagement with the committed and motivated patriots of our country in August 2021, as we joined in the formation of The Grenada Movement as a political party – birthing a new national institution – I did so with the utmost resolve and pride. It was my commitment, shared with the members of this new Party, to provide the compassionate representation and strategic advocacy that our democracy and its proud and courageous people required.
In recent months, however, I have had to and continue to face a number of very serious medical and personal challenges which require immediate, urgent attention. In the circumstances, after much reflection and with great sadness, I have come to the realisation that it is no longer possible for me to participate in the political process, as I had intended in August 2021. This will remain so until I overcome these challenges.
This is not a decision I have taken lightly since I am keenly aware that it will cause disappointment to many.
I, however, remain committed to TGM, the People of Grenada and the task of nation building.