Former Prime Minister Dr.Keith Mitchell is predicting that General Elections in Grenada will be called before year-end, almost a year before it is constitutionally due.
Dr. Mitchell, though pointing at an escalating feud within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), made no specific reference to any current or potential events likely to trigger early elections.
Addressing a rally organized by his main opposition New National Party (NNP) in New York City, the opposition leader says he is confident Grenadians will return to the polls by Christmas.
“The next few months in our country will be critical. I am telling you this. Remember I said this,” said Dr.Mitchell, who served as Prime Minister for thirteen consecutive years before his NNP lost the Government four years ago.
“There will be General Elections in Grenada before the end of the year. And therefore get ready to participate in national development,” he said.
They are reports that some government backbenchers who have resigned from the cabinet amidst the ongoing wrangling may table a vote of no confidence in the Tillman Thomas administration when parliament resumes in September.
Dr. Mitchell, who has already called for fresh elections, says Prime Minister Thomas does not have the support of most of his MPs and that his hold on power is weakening.
“What you have now is a serious problem of chaos. The Prime Minister is telling the nation that his members of his government do not support his policy and that he has no confidence in them,” Dr. Mitchell said.
“He still continues to run the government with the same members. The members are saying that they have no confidence in the Prime Minister and some are still supporting the Prime Minister to remain there.”
The division within the Governing party appears to be between one faction led by political leader and Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and another side led by NDC General Secretary Peter David, one of three MPs to have resigned from the cabinet.
The rift widened last month with the Government and party holding separate functions to observe the 4th anniversary of the NDC’s election into Government.
“In the face of the challenges Grenada has … the Prime Minister has to be in charge and has to take charge but he also must listen to his members and to take consensus on the way forward for the management of the country”said Dr. Mitchell whose NNP controls 4 of the 15 seats in the House of Representatives.
“What you have is chaos. Right now the Prime Minister cannot count on more than four or five members who will back him at this time so now the party is split down the middle.”
Local analysts predict a battle for control of the NDC executive by the two warring factions when the party holds its annual convention on September 30th.
General Elections in Grenada are constitutionally due next July.©