“We are beginning to re-muster the forces for election,” said Kenrick Fullerton, the new NDC chairman, speaking at a public rally on Sunday afternoon.
The rally, part of the 2011 convention of the NDC, followed a closed-door morning session that included election of officers, and reports from general secretary Peter David, and treasurer Bernard Isaac.
The highlight of the election was the contest between incumbent party chairman, Junior Housing Minister Glen Noel, and Fullerton, who is a former Member of Parliament.
Noel, who was elected Chairman in 2009, was defeated 240 votes to 168.
Well-known pastor, Stanford Simon, is the new deputy chairman. He defeated contender, Education Minister Franka Bernadine, to take the position.
Minister with responsibility for Information and Culture, Sen. Arley Gill, has replaced Vincent Roberts as public relations officer. The Deputy PRO is Ralph Lord, manager of the St George’s Market.
Bernard Isaac, by just two votes, held off Social Development Minister, Sylvester Quarless, to remain as treasurer of the NDC.
Finance Minister Nazim Burke was returned unopposed as deputy leader, as was David as general secretary.
Fullerton said that it was with “humility” that he accepted the offer to serve as chairman, and paid tribute to Sen. Noel for doing a “very noble job.”
The new chairman dismissed claims of party division, urging NDC members and supporters to “let no rumours fool you again. Differences are not division.”
He added, “There is no divided NDC. There is the National Democratic Congress under the leadership of Tillman Thomas.”
As chairman, Fullerton said, “The baton has been passed for the forward movement of the party,” and promised that “we will continue to work together” in building the NDC.
“Peace, unity and togetherness are the hallmarks of success,” he said.
Tillman Thomas, the NDC leader and prime minister of Grenada, congratulated the new executive members, saying he was “looking forward to working together as a team.”
David, who emphasized the importance of unity in his report, said, “We came here as friends and leave here as friends.”
The featured address at the rally was delivered by Dr Denzil Douglas, leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and the nation’s prime minister for 16 years.
He highlighted the achievements of the NDC administration in the last three years, saying he knows a good government when he sees it because St Kitts and Nevis has one.