by Linda Straker
- National executive elected with little change
- New chairman is Oliver Joseph
- Upcoming General Election will be Dr Mitchell’s final before retiring from public life
- Several young people will be appointed to key positions
Dr Keith Mitchell, Political Leader of the ruling New National Party (NNP) is promising to take his party and the governance of Grenada to the next level. Among other things, the priority will be placed on Housing, ICT services, Sports, and Leadership of young people for continuous growth and development will be the focus.
“The governance of a country is not a joke… you cannot wade into the future with a complete disregard for the past… you cannot move into the future with a complete disregard for the past because the result is chaos and confusion,” Dr Mitchell told party supporters in a speech on Sunday after he was re-elected as political leader at the Party’s annual convention.
He said young people are the ones who will be ensuring the continuation of the Party which was officially formed in 1984 and has governed the affairs of the country for more than 20 years. “We need our young people to ensure that our future is protected and remain relevant and current, we need experience a blend of youth and experience… they are so crucial.”
Dr Mitchell announced that soon several young people will be appointed to key positions. “As the party moves forward and transitions, it is not an issue of a time, it is a process, change is a process… We will be unveiling a number of youths at the political and technical levels to compliment the experienced tried, tested and delivered gurus of the NNP.” He pointed out that currently several Members of Parliament in the Upper House were chosen with youth and leadership in mind.
“The process of change and bringing in young people was a continuous process,” he said as he recalled the appointment of Kate Lewis, Emmalin Pierre, and Clarice Modeste, who all entered political life under the age of 30 and are now assisting with the development of young people.
Dr Mitchell promised that the upcoming General Elections, constitutionally due no later than June 2023, will be his final before retiring from public life. He said that the challenges facing Grenada are serious and the solutions will not be just the ideas of one particular age group.
“It is not going to be done by any particular age group. It is going to be all of us together, holding hands together with each of us having our own weaknesses, because none of us is perfect. But as we pull the team and the strength of that team, the whole becomes a strong button to meet the challenges that we face,” he said.
Telling his supporters about the different challenges Mitchell pointed to “The economic challenges that we now face and will continue to face, the pandemic that we continue to face and the emerging crisis internationally.” His remarks were broadcast using social media platforms, television and radio stations.
Held under the theme “NNP: Tested, Tried and Delivery” the morning session reviewed the internal affairs of the party, and ended in the election of a national executive with little change. The executive elected at the convention were Chairman Oliver Joseph as chairman, replacing Anthony Boatswain; Deputy Chair Dr Clarice Modeste Curwen; Political Leader Dr Keith Mitchell; Deputy Political Leader Gregory Bowen; General Secretary Roland Bhola; Assistant General Secretary Peter David; Recording Secretary Steve Horsford; Assistant Recording Secretary David Stan Phillip; Treasurer Carlton Frederick; Public Relations Officer Emmalin Pierre; Welfare Officer Edith Mc Donald and Labour relations officer Winston Garraway. The Floor Members are Bartholomew Baptiste, Oswald Gilbert, Augustine Vesprey, Bertrand John and Deborah Charles.
At the Party’s annual convention, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley was the featured speaker. Akima Paul-Lambert, a former island scholar who is currently a London-based lawyer, was the guest speaker.