by Linda Straker
Vincent Roberts, Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has disclosed that the presence of three regional political strategists at recent internal meetings of his political party is part of the preparation process, as the party gets ready to contest the next general election which is constitutionally due by early 2018.
“We are seeking their opinion and they assessment of our systems, and what they consider our level of preparedness. We have agreed to have frank dialogue with them and to give them access to our systems and process procedures, so it can assist in making that determination,” Roberts said in the Party’s weekly Monday news conference.
Pointing out that the arrival of the three in Grenada was not at the invitation of the party, but more of an opportunity discovered, Roberts said, “They are not here exclusively with the NDC. We learned of their presence and we spoke to them,” he told the media, while explaining that it will be foolish of any political party to not prepare itself for an upcoming general election which may be in a few months.
The trio are: Consultants Alston Stewart and Donovan Nelson, and Attorney at Law Michael Vaccianna. All three are known to be associated with the Jamaica People’s National Party (PNP), but Roberts said that they are not assisting the NDC in that capacity, but on their political strategy competence.
The Chairman said that besides the current review of the consultants, the party officially started the process for rebuilding the party to govern earlier in the year, when it held a special general council and presented its paper on what it see as the way forward for the party and for governing Grenada.
The NDC lost all parliamentary seats in the 2013 general elections, and Roberts is of the opinion that from that time to now, the party has done enough work to regain the trust of the people. “We are satisfied that at this time, that people have come to realise, especially when juxtaposed with the present administration, that we stand for something which every patriotic Grenadian should be proud of. At this time we are satisfied that if an election is called within 3 weeks, we can win the elections,” he said.
Roberts was quick to point out that confidence to win was based on interacting with people via the traditional media, current social media engagement, and through one-to-one discussions, and not as a result of a traditional election poll. Vincent said that the party cannot conduct a poll because of its lack of financial resources. “Polls are very expensive,” he said.