Woke up this morning still excited and thrilled with the resounding victory of the National Democratic Congress in yesterday’s national election.
The NDC candidates won 11 of the 15 parliamentary seats, even more than I had dared to hope for. In the last election, they won 7 of the 15 seats, loosing the 8th seat (Carriacou) that could have propelled them to victory by approximately 7 votes. SEVEN votes! Since then I think a few Grenadians began waking up to the reality that 7 actual pieces of paper could really change the entire political direction of a country. I would like to think that what prompted the high voter turnout – estimated at 85% of the registered voters – is the personal realisation of the actual power of one’s ballot. That what democratic freedom is all about, ey?
A full listing of the constituency candidates can be found here. The winning candidates were:
St Patrick East – Tillman Thomas NDC
As expected. The sitting MP and now the Prime Minister-elect
Carriacou and Petite Martinique – Elvin Nimrod NNP
A surprise for NDC supporters who expected George Prime to defeat the sitting MP Nimrod. This is the controversial seat that cost the NDC the previous election.
Town of St George – Peter David NDC
The surprise would have been if this tremendously popular and charismatic MP had been unseated.
St George North East – Nazim Burke NDC
Mr Burke was the sitting MP but I had expected a better showing from the new NNP candidate Kennedy Roberts. Burke apparently won at every polling station in this middle-class suburban constituency.
St George South – Glynis Roberts NDC
No surprise here. Mrs Roberts was the sitting MP and exceedingly popular with her constituents.
St George South East – Karl Hood NDC
The upset of the night! First time NDC candidate Karl Hood unseated Gregory Bowen, the deputy prime minister and deputy NNP political leader. A bonus seat for me as I didn’t think we would win it.
St Andrew South West – Sylvester Quarless NDC
All indications pointed to Quarless defeating the incumbent Yolande Bain Horsford and he did not disappoint.
St Andrew North West – Alleyne Walker NDC
Walker has held this seat solidly as far back as I can remember, so much so that the opposing parties never bother to run a “real” candidate against him.
St David – Michael Lett NDC
The NNP chose to run a young, energetic but untried and untested Devon Rachae against sitting MP Lett. Today many are accusing Lett of “gross child abuse” for inflicting such a beat-down on Rachae. [It’s a joke! :D]
St Andrew North East – Roland Bhola NNP
The nail-biter seat. The results were so close that the seat was not declared for the popular NNP incumbent Roland Bhola until well into the night.
St George North West – Keith Mitchell NNP
Unsurprising. Nothing short of his retirement from politics could stop the former P.M. from winning his seat. NDC did try by running a young (but not too young), fiesty, outspoken Ingrid Jackson against him. I knew her personally back when and believe me when I say she is ambitious, driven and tenacious. Maybe next time Ingrid!
St Patrick West – Joe Gilbert NDC
It appeared to many that the beleagered former Finance Minister and sitting MP Anthony Boatswain had lost his zeal for politics years ago. I was actually surprised NNP kept him as the candidate since it was obvious his heart just wasn’t in this race and he was unseated by Gilbert.
St John – Michael Church NDC
Former Police Commissioner Bedeau was brought in to replace sitting NNP MP Claris Charles for this seat. Allegations of assault and personality issues dogged Bedeau throughout the campaign and in the end St John’s voters just got fed up. One of my bonus seats.
St Mark – Claris Modeste-Curwen NNP
Unsurprising win as she was the popular incumbent. Pundits believe that if the NNP reshuffles and re-organises efficiently, Modeste-Curwen is likely to become the new political leader and will breathe new blood into the party.
St Andrew South East – Patrick Simmons NDC
NNP Youth Minister Emmalin Pierre was allegedly given a vast campaign warchest (rumored to be around EC$9m) to fund massive campaign concerts and youth rallies. This was a seat she should have won. But she couldn’t quell the enormous groundswell support that Simmons, a first-time NDC candidate, seemed to effortlessly generate. Another bonus seat – – and the one that excites the most. Simmons is one of the most charismatic and engaging new faces in Grenadian politics.
The polling station results started to come in within an hour and a half of the 5pm poll closures; by 9pm we unofficially knew the seats won or lost and the celebrations began! – see the video above. I drove down to Morne Rouge Playing Field where various district motorcades were reported to be heading; I couldn’t believe the outpouring of emotion and excitement from so, so many people. Many of them expressed the fact they they had previously felt unable to openly demonstrate their party preference, and this is something I can fully understand. For whatever good or bad things Keith Mitchell may or may not have done, one sour note of his 13-year administration has been the level of victimisation and targeting for personal vendetta-ing that he unleashed and encouraged. [There has always been good reason for this blog to remain annoymous y’know! :)]
I left Morne Rouge relatively early and I missed the surprise appearance of the newly elected Prime Minister, the Honourable Tillman Thomas, who addressed the crowd briefly. I did catch it on TV so here are a couple shots-of-the-TV-screen:
Glynis Roberts and Tillman Thomas
Glynis Roberts leads the 10,000+ strong crowd in the Lords Prayer
Nazim Burke and Karl Hood, back of Senator Arley Gill’s head
The Prime Minister-elect!
Click to listen to the brief address by Tillman Thomas
So there we have it folks, the new political faces of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. The election is over, but the very hard work is now beginning. As one old-timer NDCite said to me last night “[Keith Mitchell] spend 13 years teaching an entire generation to be lazy teefs. You t’ink it go be easy for us to tell dem dey ha’ to wuk? And wuk hard?” No Pops, it won’t be easy. But I have faith we can do it.