Published On: Mon, Oct 22nd, 2012

Grenada political activist pessimistic about ruling party being re-elected

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada - A veteran political activist, who supported the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in its successful general election campaign in 2008, does not believe the party will win the next national poll in Grenada.

Kennedy Budhlal predicts that the NDC will lose the upcoming elections and among those who will be defeated is Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, MP for St Patrick East.

“The prime minister is in real trouble,” Budhlal said in an interview on REAL FM Grenada on Friday. “I don’t see them winning a seat,” he said in reference to the NDC.

In the extensive interview that lasted more than two hours, Budhlal candidly expressed his views on Grenada’s current political situation and on key figures such as the prime minister; deputy NDC leader and finance minister, Nazim Burke; and former NDC general secretary and MP for the Town of St George, Peter David.

He criticized David for not doing enough to organize the NDC as general secretary, but dismissed the notion that the MP and former foreign affairs and tourism minister was “power hungry”. In just over four years of coming to office, the NDC administration has been hit by the resignation of four ministers and the firing of one other. The party has also expelled ten members.

Budhlal charged that Thomas, the prime minister and NDC leader, is “limited in ideas and lacks the ability to unite the party.” But he argued that Burke bears some responsibility too. “The problem with Naz (Burke) is that whatever the prime minister says he will agree with him because he wants the prime minister to anoint him as leader,” Budhlal claimed.

As part of his leadership ambition, Burke has “cloaked up the prime minister” and was influential in having the Grenadian leader “isolate” other party and government members, said Budhlal. The political activist, who said he “will not idolize anyone,” labeled Burke as being “very selfish,” and as someone who “doesn’t like people”.

Budhlal’s deep involvement in local politics began during the reign of former prime minister Eric Gairy’s Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) government. After the overthrow of the GULP regime in 1979 by the New Jewel Movement, he was appointed a senior officer in the People’s Revolutionary Army.

However, he was subsequently arrested and imprisoned by the revolutionary government. Budhlal said Friday’s interview was his final until completion of a book he is writing. He said among issues to be addressed in the book are the 1979 revolution and its impact on Grenada.

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