by Linda Straker
Nazim Burke, re-elected political leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has disclosed that the decision made by the party in 2012 to expel a number of executive members during its convention, was aimed at getting riding of ‘cancerous elements’ with the understanding that the action could have affected its possibilities to regain power in the 2013 General Election.
Addressing hundreds of supporters at a rally following the party’s convention on Sunday, Burke who was given another 3-year mandate as political leader, said that at the time the NDC was facing internal challenges from some who had decided that they were prepared to destroy the party if they were unable to control it.
In 2012 the NDC convention expelled 12 prominent members including elected Members of Parliament Peter David, Joseph Gilbert, Glynnis Roberts, and founding members.
“The stark choice in our party, brothers and sisters back then, was whether to go to the party seeking a mandate under false pretences that we were a united organisation or whether we should immediately rid ourselves of those cancerous elements in our party, knowing full well that it will reduce our chances of winning the next election, and it would weaken our organisation,” he said.
“Faced with that choice sisters and brothers,” he continued, “we chose to expel; we elected to expel them from our party. We did so, confident of the fact that even though we ran the risk of losing the election, we knew that we were going to protect the NDC brand. We knew that we were going to protect the face of our party and that we will live to fight another day and to contest future elections,” he told the cheering crowd.
“Today as I stand before you, I can say confidently that we feel vindicated by that decision; today our party is more united than it has ever been. Today, sisters and brothers, our party is stronger than it has ever been, today our party is more focused than it has ever been,” he said, while admitting the party had to undergo rebuilding its support base.
“4 years ago, they gave up on our party for dead. Today, sisters and brothers, those who were preparing for our funeral are now playing with they own carcasses. Our engine is greased, and all revved up to contest the upcoming elections,” he said.
Describing the upcoming election as one of the most important in the history of Grenada, Burke, who is seeking to regain the St George’s North-east constituency, said that election which is constitutionally due no later than mid-2018, will decide whether the country will continue to go down the road of “hopelessness and despair” or whether or not the people will decide to turn around and bring hope to our young people.