|Long queues at polling stations on Tuesday. Photos by www.grenadianconnection.com|
Grenadians changed their government on Tuesday, ending the five-year rule of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) and handing back the job to an old veteran, Dr Keith Mitchell.
Preliminary results show that Mitchell's New National Party (NNP) won all 15 seats, literally obliterating Thomas's National Democratic Congress (NDC) from the political landscape. In 1999 Mitchell's party also won all 15 seats.
NDC’s Deputy Chairman Ken Joseph acknowledged in an interview with Grenada’s CC 6 television that he was not surprised by the result. He suggested that if the party had another month to campaign it might have done better.
Joseph agreed that the party lost because of the state of the economy and high unemployment as well as a lack of finance. He also said Thomas’s leadership style did not appeal to the youth.
He congratulated Mitchell.
Analysts had predicted an NDC defeat, pointing to a stalled economy with a jobless rate of almost 50 per cent with at least 15,000 Grenadians out of work.
The NDC is not about to roll over and die. General Secretary Bernard Isaac said the party meet on Wednesday morning to begin the process of restructuring and rebuilding.
Trade Union leader and dissident member of the NDC, Chester Humphrey, said he had warned Thomas that he would suffer for presiding over what he called a non-exclusive Government.
Humphrey, who was influential in removing Mitchell from Government in the 2008 elections, congratulated Mitchell and advised him not to take the Grenadian people for granted.
The people ended the evening with an evangelical style celebration rally with performers singing "Blessed be the name of the Lord".
(With files from Grenadian Journalist Marcia Braveboy)