SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- A newcomer to politics has ousted Grenada’s longest serving prime minister in a tight general elections on the eastern Caribbean island.
Dickon Mitchell’s National Democratic Congress party obtained 52% of votes compared with 48% for Keith Mitchell’s New National Party, according to preliminary results released late Thursday. The incoming party won nine of 15 constituencies.
Keith Mitchell became prime minister in 1995 and served until 2008, then won again in 2018 in a landslide. He had asked voters this year to give him “one for the road.”
Keith Mitchell, 75, is a former professional cricketer and a statistician who once worked with the U.S government but returned to Grenada following the 1983 U.S. invasion that occurred just days after the island's pro-Marxist leader was executed.
The incoming prime minister is a 44-year-old attorney and former teacher who became leader of his party in October. He has pledged to improve health care, decrease unemployment and poverty, build affordable housing and boost education.
Grenada, a volcanic island about twice the area of Washington, D.C., has about 114,000 people. It oversees two other small islands. Carriacou and Petite Martinique.