A regional political strategist has urged Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his ruling Congress administration to start focusing their attention on the activities of the party in order to put in train preparation for the next general election.
The official who visited the island recently said he observed that the 17-month old government is doing a relatively good job of running the affairs of the island but the same cannot be said of the work of the party among the people at the community level.
He told THE NEW TODAY that the party and government have to work “hand-in-hand” in the political sphere in order to remain in power.
“The party that landed the government (in office) – the government didn’t get there for itself – party win elections, government lose election,” he said.
The 45-year old Dickon Mitchell, a political rookie, led the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to a surprising victory at the polls in June 2022 against the New National Party (NNP) of Keith Mitchell which had dominated the political landscape on the island for the past 30 years.
According to the political strategist, the Congress is seemingly making the same mistake like so many ruling parties in the Caribbean of failing to do continuous political work “on the ground” but persons are more engaged in profiling themselves in government after winning at the polls.
He feared that the NDC is allowing “too many bright boys” who were not around when the hard political work was being done to come into positions because “they think they know the politics and they know everything – they win already, what you’re telling them but they don’t even know how they win.”
He said that what is happening now within Congress is that the government “is doing and performing fine” but the party is lagging behind in terms of “taking credit and demonstrating what we do.”
The political strategist believes that the party’s leadership, especially its General Secretary Learie Barry must start to answer some serious questions on the way forward for Congress.
These include the issue of how many party groups have been organised by NDC since the election, how many constituency branches are operating and functioning since the last election was held and what programme is in place for engagement with the constituencies, including the key issue of canvassing to identify the NDC support for national election.
He also identified a key issue for NDC to focus on a strategy to ensure that the NDC support ends up in the ballot box on Election Day, and the plans to deal with disgruntled members of the party and government.
“In every organisation you will have disgruntled persons but it is how we handle disgruntled people while valuing their complaints and recognising the value of their complaints.”
Speculation is rife that Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell is cognizant that Congress will have to look for new candidates in several constituencies and effect changes among the executive.
The main opposition party of Keith Mitchell is re-organising and is expected to introduce a number of new and young candidates for the next general election.
The NNP is currently facing internal problems with Dr. Mitchell resisting moves by former Agriculture Minister Peter David to challenge for the top job in the upcoming annual convention of delegates.