by Linda Straker
- General election constitutionally due no later than June 2023
- New NNP leader will be decided by supporters
- Dr Mitchell has led NNP for over 30 years
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell believes that the New National Party (NNP) which was re-elected to administer the affairs of the country following the 2013 and 2018 general elections will be re-elected in the upcoming general election that is constitutionally due no later than June 2023.
He is also of the view that the new leader of the NNP will be decided by supporters within the coming months and that will be made public during a transition period once this party is re-elected to office.
Facing questions from reporters during his first news conference for 2022 about the succession plan for the party, the Prime Minister refused to say his preferred choice for the future leadership of the NNP and instead said that will be a decision for supporters of the political organisation. “That question is to be answered by the people of the New National Party, the supporters. If I speak to say I want X, it is sort of like dictating because, given my influence on my political organisation, it will be very difficult to see the freedom of people going to an alternative choice.” Dr Mitchell has led the party for over 30 years.
“So, I will not want to do this, I will not tell anyone what to do, I have my views, I have seen my colleagues at different levels. In any event, let us accept this, I have said that in the period of the new term in government, assuming that we are re-elected, and I am confident of that re-election,” he said, pointing out that voters could reject his party because the power to elect a government is with the people. “I have said, that will be the period of transition, the process of transiting leadership is a continuous process, we have been doing that over the years. Who is to say, that suppose the people decide when the time comes that it is not just the people in government at the time should lead the NNP, it is open to supporters at all levels in the political organisation.”
“So, that is a point that we have to look at. There is a perception that we must choose somebody from inside the party in Government at this time. I don’t hold that view and I think members know that I have expressed those views consistently. But, people are seeing, people know individual services over the years and they have that individual choice and the party will do that. One thing I will promise you, we won’t paratroop anybody into the NNP,” the political leader declared.
“The person will have to show their mettle, they will have to come in and show some level of consistency of work and evolve through a particular process. That is what I could promise you,” he announced.