Considered as one of the most popular figures in the nearly nine month old Congress administration, Minister for Mobilisation, Implementation and Transformation (MIT) Andy Williams has failed in his attempt to unseat Learrie Barry for the key party position of General Secretary.
Informed sources told THE NEW TODAY that most of the delegates decided to stick with Barry on the grounds that Williams, the Member of Parliament for the South St George constituency should concentrate on government matters and stay away from party work.
According to one top party insider, the victory presents the last chance for Barry to prove himself as the chief party organizer in the face of heavy criticisms of his work.
He was confident that the newly elected National Executive of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will bring on pressure to make sure that the General Secretary performs on the job.
He said that he sees Williams as one who gets things done unlike Barry but felt that at this point in time the South MP was most needed in his job as a government minister.
The senior government minister was going into the election battle for the post of General Secretary under a barrage of opposition criticisms over his dealings with the state-owned Grenada Development Bank (GDB) on loans contracted over the years.
Williams categorically denied securing a loan of EC$2.3 million from the bank after the election, pointing out that it was EC$600,000.00 and that he had sufficient assets to cover the loan.
Another party insider spoke of Barry using most of his address to party delegates in delivering the report of the General Secretary to campaign to remain in the position for at least another year.
A pro-Williams supporter said that the party is not prepared to give up power to the New National Party (NNP) of defeated Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and members are prepared “to do the work with or without Learrie Barrie.”
Congress emerged from the June 23, 2022 general election with a 9-6 victory against NNP to return to power after an absence of 9 years in the political wilderness including back-to-back 15-0 losses at the polls in 2013 and 2018.
One of the other important contests at the convention was for the position of Deputy Political Leader in which Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Andall, the current Member of Parliament for St Patrick West was considered as the front runner.
Andall emerged victorious with Health Minister Senator Jonathan La Crette who was called from the floor to vie for the office coming in the second position.
The other candidate was Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs Senator Claudette Joseph.
Former executive member of the rival NNP, Terrence Forrester landed a position on the NDC executive for the first time when he was elected to serve as Assistant Public Relations Officer (PRO) to Orlando Romain who remained in the top position.
Another party insider told THE NEW TODAY that in its history it was the first time that NDC was able to get a full complement of delegates from the St George North-west constituency that has been dominated in the past 38 years by former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
“We have never been able over the years to pull out a full contingent from North-west but this convention we were able to do it,” he said.
The NDC Caretaker for the constituency is Health Minister Sen. La Crette, a newcomer to the political arena.
La Crette, a former school principal, is said to be committed to the fight to make inroads in a constituency that has been considered as a garrison for the NNP since the 1984 general election.
Following are the names and position of the members elected to serve on the new look NDC National Executive:-