This is in reference to ‘Rohee to be feature speaker at Grenada opposition party launch’ (SN, Jan 19). The opposition National United Front (NUF) was launched two weekends ago. It is a breakaway faction of the ruling NDC led by Tillman Thomas. The NDC won the 2008 general elections 11-4. But four MPs from the NDC had a falling out with the leadership of Tillman Thomas triggering the collapse of the government. Thomas prorogued parliament for several months and then dissolved the assembly in early January setting an election date for February 19.
Based on a NACTA poll conducted by me in Grenada, the newly formed NUF is not resonating with voters and will not win any seat. In fact, all of its candidates, except maybe Glynnis Roberts, are likely to lose their deposits. So Minister Rohee’s presence will not have any impact on the elections or support for the parties. Of the four MPs who were sacked from the government and who are now with the NUF, only Roberts is seeking re-election. She was very popular when she was with the NDC but has not been winning support since her break-up with the NDC.
The NACTA poll shows a swing towards the opposition NNP led by Dr Keith Mitchell, the former three-term Prime Minister. The NNP has solid leads in five seats and smaller leads in five other seats. The NDC has small leads in three seats with two seats being toss-ups. Ten seats are within the poll’s margin of error.
Grenada has serious economic problems, so much so that for several months public servants were not paid on time. However, in recent months, they got paid in a timely fashion. Unemployment is very high. Unemployment for the rising pool of youths and the lagging economy are the two main issues in the campaign that will determine which party wins the elections. There is stiff competition for some seats. Undecided voters are about 15% and they hold the key to which candidates will win their seats. Minister Rohee’s presence will not influence the outcome in Grenada.