With Grenadians due to go to the polls on March 13, the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has pointed to several areas of concerns that could make the poll not free and fear.
Two of the party’s candidates – Dr. George Vincent and Claudette Joseph – met with reporters on Wednesday to list a number of irregularities that took place on Monday, the final day of registration for voters.
According to Joseph, an attorney-at-law by profession, the most glaring was the presence of a female who was video-taped dressed in a t-shirt of the ruling New National Party (NNP) inside the Parliamentary Electoral Office for the Town of St. George’s.
Referring to the incident as “very alarming”, the NDC candidate for the Town of St. George said that this was definitely “the highest irregularity” that took place on the last day of voter registration.
She said the individual was captured on video-tape giving instructions to persons who showed up at the office trying to beat the final hours for registration.
The video-recording was circulated on Social Media and the female NNP activist was seen sitting on a desk and interacting with the public.
Supervisor of Elections, Alex Phillip has publicly denied that the individual was an employee of the Electoral Office.
The female newcomer to frontline politics with Congress warned that the incident should be viewed against the backdrop of recent statements made by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell which seemed to suggest that a ruling party in charge of the state’s electoral machinery should not lose a general election.
Joseph told reporters that the country has “a grave problem on our hand” in light of the amount of irregularities picked up by NDC in the build-up to the March 13 poll.
She also accused some NNP field workers of going to the homes of persons and posing as employees of the Electoral Office in order to solicit certain information from them.
She spoke of this happening in two constituencies – St. George South-east and South St. George.
The attorney also brought to the attention of reporters the questionable actions of some Justices of the Peace to sign documents to allow questionable persons to get Voter’s ID cards for the upcoming election.
NDC’s Tevin Andrew who is contesting the Carriacou & Petite Martinique seat on Tuesday used the GBN “To the Point” morning programme to call the name of a particular JP in Petite Martinique who was allegedly engaged in the illegal practice.
Andrew said that he had brought up this matter to the attention of the Elections Office main office in St. George’s on several occasions for addressing.
Attorney Joseph warned persons engaged in such illegal practice that they are in clear breach of the law and run the risk of criminal prosecution.
She also pointed an accusing finger at the NNP of attempting to bribe voters through money hand-outs and the distribution of building material like windows.
The Social Media was abuzz two weeks ago with a posting of persons coming out of the St. John’s office of Minister of Forestry and Fisheries, Alvin Da Breo with windows provided by Saint Lu.
Joseph made an urgent call for the Organisation of American States (OAS) and other international observer groups to send their representatives to Grenada right now and not on the day of the election itself because the alleged fraud with the elections is taking place prior to March 13.
She also appealed to local bodies like the Grenada Chamber of Industry & Commerce (GCIC), Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association (GHTA), the Churches and Civil Society to speak up on the issue of voter fraud in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
Joseph also told reporters that persons known to be living in Happy Hill and Moliniere in the St. George North-west constituency of Prime Minister Mitchell had showed up Monday in the Electoral Parliamentary Office in the Town of St. George’s to get registered to vote.
Unlike Joseph, Dr. Vincent was more forthcoming and called the names of several persons in the St. John’s area who were engaged in alleged fraudulent activities on Monday as persons rushed to beat the deadline for registration.
He said that NNP operatives were openly transporting people to get registered and being able to bypass persons who were already in the line waiting to be processed.
The NDC Candidate for St. John also called by name some persons from Trinidad & Tobago who were brought into the office by NNP agents to get registered for the poll.
“We need to ensure that these people are not registered to vote”, Dr. Vincent said in an unusual angry tone of voice.
The Congress executive member warned that the island’s electoral system was being manipulated by persons who seemingly do not understand that they should not be taking instructions from Members of Parliament and Politicians.
The NDC candidate charged that “Grenada is in trouble and we need to fix it”.
THE NEW TODAY was also told that the names of 51 persons from St. George North-west were detected Monday seeking registration in St. George North-east where NDC Political Leader Nazim Burke is trying to recapture the seat from NNP’s Tobias Clement.
Prime Minister Mitchell has vowed to use the 2018 poll to bring an end to the political career of Burke who took over the leadership of the party in 2014 from former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.