Tillman Thomas, Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress, said that internal problems within the Party was one of the reasons for the Party’s poor performance during the 19 February 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 voters list. “We had some internal problems and other registration problems with the voter’s list, but the support is there,” he said during a live interview on the weekly Heartbeat, which is radio programme presented by the public relations arm of the NDC.
Grenada implemented an electronic registration system with fingerprints and photographs, in time for the General Elections, and 62,155 registered to vote. Of that number, 87.72 % voters participated in the process, with 32,031 (58.75%) voting for the New National Party. Despite not winning a single seat, 22,084 (40.50%) voted for the National Democratic Congress.
Thomas said that the focus is on rebuilding the party. “There are some whose goal is to creation division within the party, but our people should not fall into that trap,” he said, while explaining that his recent announcement of not intending 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 the 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 the convention, by the end of September. However, since the dismal performance after the General elections in which the ruling New National Party won all fifteen 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.”