Popular businessman Andy “Hot Spot” Williams has moved one step closer to getting the nod to represent the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the South St George constituency in the upcoming general election.
Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY that Williams was seen Tuesday night attending the party branch meeting in the constituency currently held in Parliament by Health Minister Nickolas Steele who will not be offering himself again for elected office to sit in Parliament.
The country was abuzz on Monday when news surfaced that Congress leader, Dickon Mitchell had brokered a deal with a young businessman to contest the seat for the party.
A party insider said that Williams and a small entourage were seen sitting inside the meeting which took place at a primary school in the south of the island.
He pointed out that the Chairman of the branch had to battle with delegates who appeared anxious to know when they will be given an opportunity to vote for the candidate and who are the potential candidates up for consideration.
He said the Chairman indicated that there were four applications and that everybody who are members of the party had an opportunity to do so.
He disclosed that a decision will be made within a matter of days and they will know who the applicants are and which ones will be the recommended to go before the Screening Committee and the Branch which are jointly responsible for the process.
According to the source, some of the members of the branch came to the meeting to find out who is the businessman whose name was being touted as the potential candidate for NDC in South St George.
He said that some of them did not know it was Williams who sat rather quietly in the meeting.
On Monday, the businessman met with Congress leader, Dickon Mitchell at a location in the city to discuss the possibility of him running for the party in the national poll.
Former New National Party (NNP) member Terrence Forrester is known to have expressed an interest in contesting the seat for NDC in the upcoming election.
The ruling party endorsed Infrastructure Development Minister Norland Cox at the end of January as its Caretaker/Candidate for the constituency.
Sources inside the NDC have said that Forrester is hard-pressed to get the nod over Williams who is seen as a possible “game changer” for Congress in the upcoming general election.
One branch member said he is confident that Minister Cox will have a battle on his hand against Williams in the big Polling Divisions in the constituency like The Limes, Grand Anse Valley and Mont Toute.
The NNP has been campaigning heavily in those areas and offering several homes food hampers and construction material especially board.
On Wednesday, NDC released the names of seven candidates who will contest seats in the upcoming election which some pundits are predicting could be held within the next three months.
The party leader told reporters during the launch of the candidates that the other eight candidates will hopefully be announced shortly.
NDC is known to be facing a challenge in the St Andrew North-west constituency as two prospective candidates Phillip Alexander and Gloria Charles are not prepared to back down for the other.
There are reports that a local pollster has been contracted to help the party identify which of the two has the more popular support in the constituency, as well as the four or five persons who are also lined up for the neighbouring St. Andrew South-west constituency.
Among the persons who applied for consideration of candidates for the seat are former Calypso monarch Elwyn “Black Wizard” Mc Quilkin, former Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Lennox “Toes” Andrew and Garvin Pierre, a small businessman.
The St. Andrew South-west constituency is currently represented in Parliament by Sports and Culture Minister Yolande Bain-Horsford.
Former Opposition Leader Michael Baptiste has also announced his intention to contest the seat on a ticket of the once feared Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) of late Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy.
Baptiste won the constituency in the 1995 and 1999 poll.
Both the NNP and NDC have stepped up their political activities on the island with pundits predicting the election could be held no later than May.