By Marcia Braveboy
Caribbean News Now contributor
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- Preliminary results show that the opposition New National Party (NNP) led by Dr Keith Mitchell captured all 15 seats in Tuesday’s general elections in Grenada, obliterating the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) from the political landscape.
Prime minister elect, Dr Keith Mitchell
This is the second time the 66-year-old Mitchell and the NNP have achieved a clean sweep in a general election, having performed a similar feat in 1999.
NDC’s deputy chairman Ken Joseph said in an interview on local television that the defeat is not surprising but he thinks they could have picked up a few seats or even won the elections if they had one more month of campaigning, seeing that the party picked up a surge towards the end of the campaign.
He (Joseph) agrees that the clean sweep could be attributed to the state of the economy and high unemployment. He said the NDC’s campaign was insufficiently financed, and that the leadership style of outgoing prime minister and party leader Tillman Thomas did not have as much appeal to the youth as the NNP’s Mitchell.
“Sometimes the winners take the spoils, we are battle hardened but not battle weary, we will rise again,” said Joseph.
He also extended congratulations to Mitchell.
Analysts had predicted that an NDC defeat would have been the result of a stalled economy plagued with an almost 50% unemployment rate. At least 15,000 Grenadians are unemployed at this time.
The NDC’s general secretary Bernard Isaac said they have to go back to the drawing board, restructure and re-build the party, starting on Wednesday morning at 10:00 am when they meet.
Some foreign political analysts believe the race had been won resoundingly since January of this year. However, most local analysts refrained from predicting an outcome because of the large crowds that followed both campaigns.
Trade union leader and dissident member of the NDC, Chester Humphrey, said he was not surprised by the results and had warned Thomas that he would suffer for presiding over a non-inclusive government.
Humphrey, who was influential in removing Mitchell from government in the 2008 elections, congratulated Mitchell and advised him not to take the Grenadian people for granted.