Forty-five candidates have been nominated for Grenada’s parliamentary elections, slated for March 13, it has been announced.
Most of the candidates are in one of two political camps, the first being the ruling New National Party (NNP). The second is the main opposition, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), according to Nation News. The NPC and NDC each nominated 15 candidates on Nomination Day.
Five minority parties – Grenada Empowerment Movement; Progressive Party; Grenada Reconnaissance party; Liberal Party; and the Grenada Progressive Movement – are home to most of the remaining candidates vying for the presidency. Four independent candidates are also going to join the race.
In an odd twist of fate, this year’s parliamentary elections will not include a candidate from the minority Good Ole Democracy, or GOD, at the polls. The last time this has happened was in 1984.
Justin ‘Crow’ McBurnie, leader of the GOD, said this is not the end of his political career “because Grenadians will still like to see me as prime minister of this country.” Of the six registered voters needed to sign his nomination form, he was only able to secure three.
In Grenada, elections are won based on the number of constituencies secured rather than the sum total of popular votes. Incumbent Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell could be re-elected if his New National Party wins the general elections. He has said that he’s confident the NNP will maintain parliamentary control and he’ll regain his office for a second term.
It’s not clear why Mitchell scheduled the general election for March 13, the date holds a very special meaning to islanders. On that day in 1979, Maurice Bishopled members of the New Jewel Movement (NJM,)in a bloodless revolution, which overthrew former Prime Minister Eric Gairy. At the time, Gairy was on an official visit to the United States.
Bishop sought greater labor rights, gender equality and less dependence on the United States and Western countries in general, while helping guide the People’s Revolution.
The Grenadian Revolution would last for four years, until Oct. 19, 1983, when members of the NJM captured Bishop and several Cabinet members of the People’s Revolutionary Government and executed them.
Days later, the United States, having already conceived plans for an invasion of the small Caribbean island, followed through on its intention with Operation Urgent Fury.