Forty five political candidates were nominated in Grenada on Tuesday – Nomination Day, to contest the March 13 general election.
The majority of the candidates will represent the ruling New National Party (NNP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The other candidates are from five minority parties and there are four independent candidates.
During Tuesday’s exercise, the NNP and NDC each nominated 15 candidates.
From the minority parties – two were nominated to represent the Grenada Empowerment Movement (GEM); three candidates will represent The Progressive Party (TPP); four were nominated to represent The Grenada Reconnaissance party (TGR); one candidate will represent The Liberal Party (TLP) and one will represent the Grenada Progressive Movement (TGPM).
The independent candidates are Joslyn Whiteman, a former member of the NNP; Junior Francis who will contest the poll in St. Davids constituency; Oswald Peter who will go up against NNP leader and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell in the constituency of St. George’s North West and John Fletcher who will face the electorate in St. Andrew South West.
However other political parties were unable to field candidates.
Tuesday’s Nomination Day exercise marks the first time since the 1984 general election that the minority Good Ole Democracy (GOD) will not be contesting the poll as the sole candidate was unable to gather the six registered voters required to sign his nomination form.
“That is not the end of me and my political career because Grenadians will still like to see me as Prime Minister of this country,” said GOD leader Justin “Crow” McBurnie.
He was only able to gather three of six registered voters to sign his nomination form.
Derick Sealey who heads the newly formed minority Grenada Christian Political Party also announced that he will not be entering the race as planned, due to the lack of candidates.
He however used the opportunity to call on the public to boycott the elections.
Independent Candidate Clint John who was campaigning to representing the constituency of Carriacou and Petite Martinique on Monday announced that he was will not be contesting as the election is occurring during the Lenten period.
“I am Catholic and we are in Lent, and I spoke and listen to my family,” he said.
In the lead up to the general election, 18 political parties along with independent candidates attended awareness sessions with the Parliamentary Elections Office.
In the 2013 general election, the NNP won all 15 seats defeating the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of then prime minister Tillman Thomas.
This will be the second time that a general election will be held on March 13.
On the first occasion in 1990, the NDC won seven seats, the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) four seats.
The NNP won two seats, the same as the National Party (NP).
March 13, 1979 is a significant one in Grenada’s history.
On that day, members of the New Jewel Movement (NJM) headed by Maurice Bishop staged the first coup in the English-speaking Caribbean, removing the then prime minister Sir Eric Gairy from office while he was on a visit to the United States.