The NDC Mission
The mission of the National Democratic Congress is to build a dynamic, prosperous and stable democracy, capable of sustaining a high quality of life for all the people of the tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
Origin of the Party
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) was formed in 1987 following the resignation from the New National Party Government (NNP) of two of its most formidable Ministers; Hon. George Brizan and Hon. Francis Alexis.
The Hon. Tillman Thomas who was also at the time a government Member of Parliament (MP) and a Junior Minister along with Jerome Joseph who was a government Senator both immediately resigned from the NNP in support of George Brizan and Francis Alexis.
Almost immediately, other activists namely Jerome Thomas, Sidney Mitchell, Leroy (Castro) Alexander, Keith Clouden, Jim “Masai” Henry and Crawford Best joined in the formation of the National Democratic Congress.
The NDC also started publishing its own newspaper called the Grenadian Tribune. Edited by Mr. Leslie Mc Queen the weekly tabloid was an effective medium in spreading the messages of the newly formed party and building grassroots support in the rural communities.
The early editions of the Tribune featured several policy statements of the NDC including its stance against corruption and immorality in government. Some of the early contributors to the paper were Mr. George Brizan, Dr. Francis Alexis, Mr. Tillman Thomas and Mr. Randolph Mark.
Growth of the Party
The ranks of the party were quickly swollen when other well known Grenadians entered the party. People such as Hon. Phinsley St. Louis, MP, Hon. Marcel Peters, MP, then leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, Hon. Kenny Lalsingh, MP as well as a majority of the membership of the now defunct NDP (National Democratic Party) joined the new party.
George Brizan and others formed the NDP in January 1984 following the demise of the Grenada Revolution in 1983. It was one of the parties brought together in Union Island in the summer of 1984 to form the NNP in preparation to contest the December 1984 general election.
NDC’s First Convention
The organization and growth of the NDC were very rapid. A number of people’s consultations were held to develop the party’s constitution, policies and principles — documents that continue to guide the NDC today. Within six months after the formation of the party, the NDC was fully entrenched in all fifteen constituencies in Grenada and was ready for the Party’s first annual Convention. At the NDC’s first Convention the following person’s were elected as officers on the national executive committee:
George Brizan - Political Leader
Francis Alexis - Deputy Political Leader
Phinsley St. Louis - Deputy Political Leader
Kenny Lalsingh - Chairman
Colin Labarrie - Deputy Chairman
Jerome Joseph - General Secretary
Tillman Thomas - Assistant General Secretary
Jerome Thomas - Assistant General Secretary
Keith Clouden - Youth Officer
Maureen Emmanuel - Treasurer
Michael Regis - Public Relations Officer
Cecilia Aberdeen - Recording Secretary
After the convention, at a General Council meeting, the party adopted the heart as the best representation of the party as true family love.
NDC Forms the Government
In 1989, Nicholas Brathwaite, the former head of the Interim Government, joined the NDC and was elected as Political Leader at the Party’s Convention of that same year. This development had the blessings and approval of George Brizan.
When general election was eventually called for March 13, 1990 by the then Prime Minister, the Hon. Ben Jones, it was Nicholas Brathwaite who led the NDC in to the election.
The NDC won seven (7) out of the fifteen (15) parliamentary seats. Three other parties shared the other eight (8) seats. The Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) received four (4) seats; the New National Party (NNP) received two (2) seats and The National Party (TNP) received two (2) seats.
However, the NDC was able to form the government with the courageous move by Edzel Thomas, who was one of the successful GULP candidates. The NDC’s position in the House of Representatives was further strengthened with the help of three other MPs, Hon. Ben Jones, Hon. Alleyne Walker and Hon. Dr. Gibbs.
Major Achievement of the NDC
Under the leadership of Prime Minister, Hon. Nicholas Brathwaite, the National Democratic Congress Government was best known for and very instrumental in returning Grenada to a credit worthy position, after it was declared not creditworthy by international financial organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank.
George Brizan Becomes Prime Minister
Towards the end of 1994, the Hon. Nicholas Brathwaite demitted office to allow Hon. George Brizan to become Prime Minister and to take the party in to the June 1995 general election. The NDC lost the election to the New National Party. The NDC received six (6) seats, whereas the NNP received eight seats and GULP received one seat.
The Regeneration of the NDC
The NDC suffered a devastating blow in the January 1999 general election when it did not win a seat, and was left without any representation in both Houses of Parliament. By 2000, the NDC had nearly collapsed when most of the foundation members left the party. However, under the courageous leadership of founding members, Tillman Thomas and Jerome Joseph, and others the rebuilding and strengthening of the NDC began. The NDC created a storm leading up to the November 2003 election with its powerful “wind of change” message blowing in the land, and embraced within the hearts of the populace.
This wind of change brought to the Party and certainly to Grenada a new pulse. The NDC was pulsating, energetic and ready to take on the ruling New National Party. It certainly was not business as usual. The revived NDC went in to the trenches of Grenada and held dialogue with the people. The party focused on the issues that were important to the nation and more so, presented itself as the best and only alternative to the NNP.
The results of the 2003 general election demonstrated clearly the rise of the NDC when it gained seven (7) seats to NNP’s eight (8). In fact, NDC lost the constituency of Carriacou and Petit Martinique by only six (6) votes, and three others by less than 60 votes each.
NDC Forms the Government again
The NDC continued its commitment to the people in the years following the 2003 elections. The NDC highlighted the promise of good governance in its campaign to the people. The message to the people was strong and the showed in the results of the 2008 elections. The NDC won eleven (11) seats while the NNP won only four (4) seats.
With its new mandate, the NDC Government took office and proceeded to do the business of the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. In spite of the difficult global economic climate and the enormous debt that the country faced following 13 years of NNP governance, the NDC has been able to stay the course.