Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Internal party problems responsible for poor Election performance, says Thomas

By Linda Straker

Tillman Thomas, Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said that internal problems within the party was one of the reasons for the party’s poor performance during the February 19 General Elections.

Without providing in-depth details, Thomas said that the party was also challenged by a lack of supporters registering in time to have their names on the voter’s list.

“I mean the 2013 Elections we had some internal problems and other registration problems with the voter’s list, but the support is there,” he said in a live interview on a weekly radio programme.

Grenada implemented an electronic registration system with fingerprint and photograph in time for the General Elections and 62 155 registered to vote. Of that amount, 87.72 per cent of voters participated in the process with 32 031 or 58.75 per cent voting for the ruling New National Party. Despite not winning a single seat, 22 084 or 40.50 per cent voted for the National Democratic Congress.

Thomas said that right now the focus is on rebuilding the party and supporters need to be mindful of those who will create division among them.

“There are some whose goal is to create division within the Party, but our people should not fall into that trap,” he said, while explaining that his recent announcement of having no intention to contest a future general election is being used to create uneasiness among the supporters.

Describing the party as a vehicle, Thomas said: “You cannot get the vehicle going without proper tyres and engine, so that is what we have to focus on now, we need to build the Party and when we have all of that, the driver will come,” he said.

The party, according to its constitution, should be having a general council to decide on a date for their convention by the end of September. However, since the dismal performance after the General Elections in which the ruling New National Party won all 15 seats in the Parliament, the party is yet to have a mass gathering of its supporters. There are reports that a number of constituency support groups have held retreats, while the women’s arm has held a general meeting and elected a new executive.

A few weeks ago, Thomas indicated that he may not be contesting a future election as a candidate and was quick to point out that his decision is not “cast in concrete”.

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