Grenada’s newest political party will make its official debut on Emancipation Monday with what party insiders say will be a message of unity.
The long anticipated launch of The Grenada Movement (TGM) is expected to capture much attention as it officially marks the entry of former ambassador Dr. Patrick Antoine in frontline politics.
Dr Antoine had served under the current administration as Ambassador to CARICOM, World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Trade and Economic Commission.
The theme chosen for the launch is ‘Empowering a People – Igniting Hope for the Future’.
The August 2 event will take place at 5.00 p.m. at the Spice Basket in the St George North East Constituency.
Launch coordinator Faye Thompson said the launch event will be well managed to ensure that Coronavirus Pandemic protocols are strictly followed and the programme will also be live across multiple platforms.
TGM, which came out as an NGO several months ago, has been transforming into a political machinery with the intention of contesting the next general elections in Grenada which is constitutionally due in 2023.
According to Dr Antoine, a key aspect of TGM’s philosophy is “government for the People, of the People and by the People” and that they will focus on empowering Grenadians to achieve economic prosperity and social justice.
Fingers have been pointed at the TGM as a potential spoiler in a political environment that has cultivated the existence of just two major parties and the view has been expressed by some that a third party may just make it easier for the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell to retain power despite their abyssal performance generally over almost a decade in power.
In an interview recently, Dr Antoine dismissed that notion saying that they are drawing the attention of those in search of sound leadership and direction for Grenada.
“The people who are reaching out to us are coming from all sides but I think there is a spirit of fear and I think that people coming from a particular side are very concerned and fearful that they would be seen associating openly but it doesn’t mean they are not associating.
“In fact I believe, truth be told the number (is) equal in attracting people from all sides. And I also think we are attracting people from the centre, who believe that it is time for sound leadership that can bring change to the country.”
The National Democratic Congress (NDC), which is considered as the main opposition party in the country, has been holding unity talks with sections of the opposition movement in Grenada.
Dr Antoine said TGM is committed to a “unity agenda” for change.
“TGM is not committed to change for change sake. TGM is very clear, at our stage, most of us are in our forties, fifties and we have a number of youths coming on, who have looked at their parents, of where their parents have reached, they’ve looked at what their parents have sacrificed, where their parents over the last several years seem to have reversed in terms of their standing, as people able to stand on their own two feet in retirement years.
“So what we have is a collage of all these people coming together and these people who are helping us to build this change agenda are people from all sides and so we already embrace all sides.
Getting down to specifics, Dr Antoine said they are already developing relationships that will help realise their “change agenda”.
“We have an agenda for exports that no one else is talking about. We are not being boastful but we have been very specific. While people have been shooting their scud missiles we have been in the trenches.
“We have an agenda for manufacturing. We have been engaging people regionally and internationally, about manufacturing. Many of them are Grenadians and they’re engaging us. So we have a very serious agenda, not just in terms of political will but we have people who are prepared, without (receiving) more, without wanting to fleece the lamb, are prepared to come into our country to participate in a process where we can put the right policy framework in place.”
Monday’s launch which will see speeches from a number of national and regional political figures, as well as a display of Grenadian culture.
TGM will speak to key elements of its change agenda, emphasising inclusion of all Grenadians.
“It will be a unifying message,” Dr Antoine said of the speech he is expected to deliver as Chairman of the TGM.
In the coming months the new party will announce a date for its first Convention where a political leader and an executive will emerge.
Already the TGM, whose membership include several public servants, has aligned itself to the cause of Public Officers who are locked in battle with the government over pension and gratuity as well as salary increases.
TGM marched with workers recently and issued a statement in which it said that the movement holds firmly to the view that pension is a right under the Constitution and that the institution, if given a chance to lead, would respect and follow all provisions of the Constitution.