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Former Grenada Prime Minister Tillman Thomas says he is prepared to step down as leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and work with a new leader, to be chosen by the party. Thomas said so in an interview with the T&T Guardian hours after his party’s historic defeat in Tuesday’s general election, which saw the New National Party (NNP) led by Dr Keith Mitchell win all 15 seats.
“The leadership is not something that I want to hold on to...once somebody comes forward, I am prepared to let that person take over the responsibility of leadership of the party,” Thomas said. Thomas said he was prepared and committed to work with that person to ensure the party is returned to power in the shortest possible time. He said the leadership issue would be determined at a party convention later in the year.
Asked to comment on the results, Thomas said he was “disappointed but not daunted, because we have laid a very good foundation in the last four and a half years in terms of governance.” Thomas said the party suffered a similar defeat in 1993 but recovered to win a subsequent election.
The NDC, while in office, did a good job in promoting “transparency and accountability in governance,” he said, but the defeat might have been caused by “the global economic crisis and internal (NDC) problems which created a lot of division and that affected us.” He insisted: “We are going to regroup and come again.” Thomas said the party has a good message for the people of Grenada.
Even though the NDC was no longer in Parliament, he said, the party remained committed to good relations with T&T and would do all it could to ensure relations between the states were strengthened in the years ahead. “We are going to strengthen that cultural and historical relationship that exists between our two countries,” he added. He said the NDC remained committed to uniting the people of the Caribbean region.