by Linda Straker
Grenada’s Parliament will be dissolved today Monday, 29 January clearing the way for more than 75,000 voters to decide on 13 March 2018, the political party that will run the affairs of government for the next 5 years.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell announced on Sunday, 28 January that the election which is constitutionally due by mid-2018 will be on that date. This is the 2nd time that Grenadians are voting on that date; the first time was in 1990. There was no clear winner for that election but eventually the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who had won 7 seats, formed the government when now deceased Edzel Thomas of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) crossed over.
Addressing thousands of his supporters at an endorsement rally for himself, Gregory Bowen and Peter David at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium car park, Dr Mitchell, before announcing the date, shared the status of the country and its finances from the day he was sworn in as Prime Minister on 20 February 2013 to the present.
“Assets were being sold to pay salaries; Grenada was defaulting on its debts and we were loaning money, even from St Vincent and the Grenadines and other neighbouring islands where they have they own challenges too. People was not just losing their homes, but also losing their minds,” he told the supporters.
“The group in power then, not only victimised our people but pauperised our people; by the grace of God and the sacrifice of our people, brothers and sisters, 2018 looks far different than 2013. Five years later we face a new dawn,” he said.
“Tomorrow beckons because of the work we have done yesterday and that is why we have come here today. The rhythm of Grenadian life is a bouncing melody of optimism this time,” he said while informing the crowd that during the last 5 years, this NNP administration has worked tirelessly for them and the country.
“With proper fiscal management, the cooperation from our social partners, the stimulation of investor confidence, the sacrifices of our citizens and the overall promotion of national unity, this country has been able to experience positive economic growth, averaging over 5% for the last 5 years. Our national debt has been lowered significantly, from 108% of GDP to 69% and some people in the opposition simple cannot get it right,” he said.
Giving the supporters justifications as to why they need to return the NNP to office he said, “My friends we are far from finished. We cannot turn back now, that’s why brothers and sisters we will continue to pursue all economic opportunities, I say to you tonight, our project for oil and gas exploration looks very exciting, we had a report 2 evenings ago. I say to you Grenada is blessed, your country is blessed by the almighty God, so he is making all sorts of opportunities for you,” he said.
“The choice now is ours, do we keep moving forward with the New National Party or do we get side tracked with uncertainty and chaos? Do we uphold the principle of sound management or do we go back to the days of mismanagement and infighting,” he said before bringing up on stage all the other candidates to announce the election date.
The final date for registration is today, Monday, 29 January. Nomination date will be 20 February.