ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- The chair of Grenada’s opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is calling for restraint from members and supporters unhappy with former party strategist, William Joseph, who quit the NDC with a blistering attack on deputy leader Nazim Burke.
“I appeal to all party members and others, to stop these irresponsible actions and unnecessary comments and allow people to feel free to do as they see fit with their lives,” NDC chair Franka Bernardine said in a statement on the party’s Facebook page.
“Please respect each other as you would want to be respected. I ask you to back off with the negatives please!” added Bernardine, a senator and former NDC education minister.
The NDC, which formed the government in 2008, failed to win any of the 15 parliamentary seats in general elections held last year.
The party is scheduled to meet on February 2 to choose a new leader to succeed Tillman Thomas, the former prime minister.
Burke, finance minister in the Thomas administration, is the presumed frontrunner to take over as party leader at next month’s convention. He, Bernardine and former tourism minister, George Vincent, were appointed to the senate in the aftermath of the NDC’s election defeat.
Joseph, once a close ally of Burke, claims that he is unsuited for the top party position.
Burke’s “brand”, according to Joseph, is largely negative, even though he credits the former finance minister with being well-educated and disciplined, and also describing him as a “very good public speaker”.
If elected leader at the convention, Burke “will be a political burden for the NDC”, charged Joseph, who worked in the office of Prime Minister Thomas as chief of staff.
“His leadership of the NDC, though achievable at the convention, is highly unlikely thereafter to help the NDC’s cause,” Joseph said in his resignation letter. “The NDC would have an unnecessary burden of fighting for Mr Burke as leader, rather than Mr Burke fighting for his party.”