After much speculation, Grenada Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell Saturday night announced that nationals will return to the polls on June 23.
Mitchell said his incumbent New National Party (NNP) will be seeking a third successive, five-year term. General elections were constitutionally due in Grenada in 2023.
The prime minister told supporters that he had already asked Governor Gen. Dame Cécile La Grenade to dissolve Parliament on Tuesday.
“I have also asked the Governor General to issue the writ for the election on Tuesday, May 17,” he said. “In other words, only one day you have to try to register, if you ain’t register yet. I warned you already, I warned you, I warned you.”
Mitchell said the publication of the writs would be made on Wednesday, May 18.
He predicted that the NNP will be triumphant in the forthcoming elections, according to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).
CMC reported over the weekend that Dr. Mitchell, 75, who led the NNP to consecutive clean sweeps of the 15-member Legislature in the last two general elections, also indicated that the new leader of the party will be decided by supporters within the coming months.
Speaking at his first news conference for the year, the prime minister, who has been leading the NNP for over three decades, did not reveal whether or not he had a preferred choice for the leadership position, insisting that this will be a decision to be taken by the party supporters, according to CMC.
“That question is to be answered by the people of the New National Party, the supporters,” CMC quoted Mitchell as saying. “If I speak to say I want X, it is sort of like dictating because, given my influence on my political organization, it will be very difficult to see the freedom of people going to an alternative choice.
“So, I will not want to do this,” he added. “I will not tell anyone what to do, I have my views, I have seen my colleagues at different levels. In any event, let us accept this, I have said that in the period of the new term in government, assuming that we are re-elected, and I am confident of that re-election,
“I have said, that will be the period of transition,” Mitchell continued. “The process of transiting leadership is a continuous process. We have been doing that over the years. Who is to say, that suppose the people decide when the time comes that it is not just the people in government at the time should lead the NNP, it is open to supporters at all levels in the political organization.”
The Grenadian leader said that his successive “will have to show their mettle, they will have to come in and show some level of consistency of work and evolve through a particular process.
“That is what I could promise you,” he said.
The NNP is anticipated to be challenged at the polls by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which, last year, elected lawyer Dickon Mitchell as its new leader, according to CMC.
It said the NDC has already begun selecting candidates to contest the polls.