Clean Sweep for NNP

Dr. Keith Mitchell takes the oath of office for his fourth stint as Prime Minister of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique

Keith Claudius Mitchell is back as Prime Minister of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

Born November 12, 1946, Mitchell first served as Prime Minister of Grenada from 1995 to 2008 to become the longest serving Prime Minister ever on the island for just over 13 years.

As Political Leader of the New National Party (NNP), Mitchell was relegated to the role of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament in the 2008 general election which the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won 11-4.

He first came to national attention in 1972 when he joined the Grenada National Party (NNP) to contest without success the seat for St. George North-west against late Finance Minister, George Hosten of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP).

Mitchell was unable to visit Grenada during the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution as he was considered as a counter-revolutionary by the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) of Maurice Bishop.

In the December 1984 general election, he was elected to a seat in the House of Representatives from St. George North West constituency with NNP and has held the seat in each subsequent election.

Mitchell was elected as leader of the NNP in January 1989, defeating Prime Minister Herbert Blaize who then dismissed Mitchell from his position as Minister of Works and Communications on July 21, 1989.

After the NNP was victorious in the general election held on June 20,1995, winning eight out of 15 seats in the House of Representatives, he took office as Prime Minister, along with his Cabinet, on June 22.

Under Mitchell’s leadership, the party won all 15 seats in the early election held in January 1999, and the NNP narrowly won a third term in power in the November 2003 election, reduced to a one seat parliamentary majority.

Mitchell and NNP were defeated in the general election held on July 8, 2008 by the NDC winning only four seats.

The re-elected Mitchell graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Chemistry in 1971.

He a gained a Master’s degree from Howard University in 1975 and a Doctorate in Mathematics and Statistics from American University in 1979.

Mitchell naturalised as a U.S. citizen in 1984 but he U.S. State Department made a determination in 2001 that he had relinquished his U.S. citizenship by becoming Prime Minister of Grenada in 1995.

 

 

The road ahead!!!

The people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique have made their decision in Election 2013.

It was a decisive victory for the New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell in which for the second time in this country’s history it was able to win all fifteen seats at stake in the poll.

The NNP roll through the country has posed several asking questions for our Parliamentary Democracy in light of the absence of an elected Opposition to look after the needs of those who do not subscribe to the philosophy of the new rulers and the existence and operation of a system in the House of Representatives to ensure checks and balances of those now with a total majority.

Despite this, THE NEW TODAY is calling on all Grenadians to respect

the decision taken by the vast majority of those who voted in the election to place all fifteen seats in the hands of NNP, and wish to congratulate Dr Mitchell and the NNP on the victory.

The people in their own wisdom have sent a clear message to the outside world that they want a Grenada with Dr. Mitchell at the helm – and no one else at this point in time. Equally important is the phrase: “To whom much is given, much is expected”.

The promises made by the NNP in Campaign 2013 have resonated with the electorate.

No one including this newspaper has any moral authority to challenge the decision of the voters on Election Day.

As a matter of fact, it is the view of THE NEW TODAY that Tuesday’s exercise was perhaps the freest and fair election ever contested in the Parliamentary history of the country.

The Supervisor of Elections, Judy Benoit should be commended for helping to put in place a new Voter Registration process that limited the chances of anyone who was bent on engaging in illegal activities.

The onus now is on new Prime Minister Mitchell and his team to keep to their promises made to the Electorate: “We will deliver”.

The Number One promise is the building of a new economy to create the thousands of new jobs that are needed to satisfy a demanding population that is looking for the promises today and not tomorrow.

As the days go by the new rulers are expected to unveil various aspect of their New Economy that will take Grenada into the next 10-15 years.

The people heard the various messages of the NNP and voted for the change agenda that was put forward by the Opposition.

It is a clear case of the Electorate voting against Leadership based on Morality, Integrity and Good Governance as advanced by Mr. Thomas and his group and voted for “Bread and Butter” and more along the lines of the economy such as high unemployment and rising cost of living.

The NDC will have to do its own soul-searching in due course and engage the populace to find answers to important questions such as the factors responsible for the clean sweep by the NNP and the reasons for the loss in key strongholds such as St. George North-east, South St. George and St. David.

The losers will at some stage have to address the question of leadership and the way forward for its 20, 000 strong support base in the country.

A good starting point is the convening of a Special Convention in which the NDC leaders will sit down and listen to party supporters and

members to hear their views on where things went wrong for the government.

This session should not be dominated by the party leaders with speeches but vice-versa in which the leaders would have to listen and take notes.

THE NEW TODAY would also like to comment the former Prime Minister for the very dignified manner in which he left office and congratulate him for the new standards set for other office holders to follow in the wake of impending general elections.

Mr. Thomas had moved out of the official home of the Prime Minister at Mt. Royal and left all State vehicles on the property that were at his disposal.

It is our understanding that the former Prime Minister would have only returned to Mt. Royal if the electorate had renewed his mandate to continue to look after the affairs of the nation.

There was no need for anyone to journey to his home in St. Patrick West to retrieve State property.

THE NEW TODAY is also calling on all those persons who were appointed by the former government to serve as Members of various State boards to follow suit and hand in their resignations in order to give the new government the opportunity to select the boards that are in keeping with their policy directions.

This should be done as part of our emerging democratic principles.

Too many officials in the past have displayed a bad attitude towards change by giving an incoming administration a hard time to find its way in making appointments to certain positions in order to implement their plans and policies.

The standards set by the NDC in office should be emulated by NNP whenever there is regime change in this country.

Stealing at GCIC

Morne Jaloux resident Jennifer Archibald has been charged by the police for the offense of stealing by reason of employment.

Archibald is accused of using money estimated to be close to $10,000.00 belonging to the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCIC) to obtain credit by false pretense.

A well placed source told THE NEW TODAY Newspaper, Archibald who was employed as a Senior Administrative Officer with responsibility of overseeing all financial transactions of the GCIC obtained credit on behalf of the business grouping and converted it to her own use.

The source who spoke on condition of not being identified said the Chamber normally credits groceries from a well-established firm in the south of the island and pays them at the end of each month.

He said that at the end of October last year, the GCIC was informed by the business outlet that there were outstanding bills amounting to just about $10,000.00.

This newspaper learnt that Archibald confessed to obtaining the credit over a four-month period after being confronted by a senior Executive member of the island’s leading private sector body.

 

Messages of congratulations

Tillman Thomas

Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Tillman Thomas, has congratulated the Leader of the New National Party (NNP), Dr. Keith Mitchell, on his party’s performance in Tuesday’s general election.

“I congratulate you and your party on your success at the general election and wish you well, as you take our country forward,” the NDC leader said Tuesday evening in a telephone conversation with Dr. Mitchell.

He noted that the democratic process is alive and well in Grenada.

Meanwhile, the Movement of Independent Candidates has sent the following congratulatory message to new Prime Minister Mitchell on his second clean sweep of the polls:

 

“The Movement of Independent Candidates congratulates you, the Right Honourable Dr. Keith Mitchell, and the New National Party – including the NNP candidates in the constituencies of St. George South East and North East as well as Carriacou & Petite Martinique – on the occasion of a 2nd historic landslide general elections victory in the February 19th polls.

We recognise that the task ahead is extremely challenging and demands great courage, fortitude and all-inclusiveness.

It is in this light that we pledge our unyielding support and to contribute in whatever possible way we can to the nation building and the national governance process – always remembering that we must put THE CREATOR first at all times.

We therefore look forward to collaborating and working with you and your team in a very profound way to move Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique forward”.

Teacher accused of sexually assaulting 6-year old

A primary school teacher is facing a charge of indecent assault.

The charge was laid by police on Simon Andrew of San Souci, St. George’s last week.

An authoritative source told THE NEW TODAY Newspaper that the 36-year old man is accused of indecently assaulting a six-year old child who was in his care at the time.

The source who spoke on condition of not being identified said Andrew who once served as an acolyte at the Roman Catholic Church was out with a group of budding athletes from a primary school at the Tanteen Playing Field when the incident allegedly took place.

Simon who serves as the Sports Teacher took a group of students out for training in preparation for their upcoming school sports meeting when he allegedly pushed his hands inside of her pants and touched her private parts.

Last year, schoolteacher Aaron Hercules was found guilty on a charge of indecent assault and received an 18-month prison sentence from Madam Justice Margaret Price-Findlay.

 

CLEAN SWEEP BY NNP

Dr. Keith Mitchell in his election victory being guarded by Police Detective,
Sgt Garson Gill

It was a resounding landslide victory for the Opposition New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell in Tuesday’s general elections in Grenada.

Dr. Mitchell, a former Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at a major university in the United States, led his party back to the seat of government winning all fifteen seats against the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

The NNP was able to bag all 15 seats for the second time in Grenada’s political history – the first of its kind in the region.

Dr. Mitchell and his NNP swept all 15 seats at the polls in 1999 before one of its winning candidates, Michael Baptiste amidst disagreements crossed the floor to become Leader of the Opposition.

At the start of the campaign for election 2013, the NNP promised to “deliver” to the Grenadian people in the face of a mounting economic and financial crisis facing the island.

The Tillman Thomas-led Congress government had struggled on a few occasions to pay the salaries of civil servants on time especially in the latter months of its time in office.

On Tuesday night before a large gathering of party members and supporters assembled on the Roy St John Playing Field, the NNP presented fourteen of its winning candidates to the people.

The only exception was former Minister of Legal Affairs, Elvin Nimrod who was on the sister isle of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

It was a carnival like atmosphere in Tanteen as NNPites sang and danced to music blasted from DJ’s, buckets and horns before the Prime Minister-elect arrived in a motorcade style to address the Grenadian people.

His first words were a call for unity among the population as he maintained he wanted to leave a legacy behind at the end of his political life, knowing that he had done his best to help the people.

Dressed in a red and white-checkered shirt, Dr. Mitchell told supporters that he is more committed than ever to ensure that Grenadians become a united family.

“Do not look down on those we defeated”, he warned NNP supporters and urged them to take their victory at the polls with humility.

Dr. Mitchell also called on them to reach out to the supporters of other parties as the campaign is over and reminded them that unity is key in building the country.

The NNP leader extended a hand of friendship to some of the major trade union leaders on the island such as the boisterous President-General of the Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), Chester Humphrey, a former member of Congress who was expelled from the party last September.

The Conference of Churches was not forgotten as Dr. Mitchell called on them to pray for the nation, as a politically divided country will fail.

He stressed that the NNP victory on Tuesday night should not be seen as a Keith Mitchell victory but a victory led by God and the people.

The NDC campaign focused on issues that plagued the island under the Mitchell Administration during the 1995 to 2008 period such as victimization of public workers, shady dealings with international fraudsters such as Victor Kozeny, Eric Resteiner and Van Brink, and constant legal actions against media houses and journalists.

Congress also campaigned on promises of bringing about new jobs from a host of pending projects like the multi-million dollar new Parliament, the Sandals/La Source hotel, and the construction of roads and bridges with funds provided by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Speculation is rife that the electorate voted against Congress based on recent infighting within its ranks, the financial challenges facing the country, coupled with high unemployment and rising cost of living.

The local private sector also threw its support behind NNP and against Congress in light of promises made by Dr. Mitchell and his Candidates to improve the investment climate in the country and to build a new economy for the island.

Approximately 51,000 of the 62,146 registered voters’ flocked polling stations on Tuesday to cast their votes among them a massive turnout of young voters (first-time voters).

Minor challenges such as no electricity lighting at polling station LO3 in the wee hours of the morning did not prove to be a challenge for voters who braved the weather to exercise their franchise.

Today (Friday) was designated as a public holiday by Prime Minister-elect Mitchell when he addressed the Tanteen gathering.

Roberts congratulates NNP on victory

Political Leader of NUF – Mrs. Glynis Roberts

The Political Leader of National United Front, Mrs. Glynis Roberts has congratulated the New National Party on its election victory.

At 8.27 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 Mrs. Roberts called the elected representative for St. George South, Mrs. Alexandra Otway-Noel and offered congratulations.

At 9.22 p.m. she then called the Political Leader of the New National Party, Dr. Keith Mitchell and also offered congratulations and best wishes.

On behalf of the Executive and Members of the National United Front, Mrs Roberts would like to thank all supporters and well-wishers for their effort and contribution to the National United Front during this election campaign.

Mrs. Roberts gracefully accepts the outcome of the elections and takes the opportunity to reassure that her commitment to community and national development remains undaunted.

Mrs. Roberts remains committed to building the National United Front along the lines of politics of inclusion, articulating politics of a different paradigm with the message shared at many of the meetings during the election campaign.

It has been humbling and an honour of duty to have represented the St. George South constituency as its elected Member of Parliament from 2003 to 2013.

She expresses reassurances that it’s not the end of her political career and the people of Grenada will always be first.

Statement issued by Dr. Jennifer Van Dijk-Silos, Chief of Mission of the CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission for the February 19 general elections in Grenada

Grenadians waiting patiently to exercise their voting rights

At the invitation of the Government of Grenada, a seven-member CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission arrived in Grenada for the Parliamentary Elections held on Tuesday, 19 February 2013.

The Mission was led by Dr. Van Dijk-Silos of Suriname and comprised Observers from the following Member States:

Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Jamaica and, Trinidad and Tobago.

The Chief of Mission and the CARICOM Secretariat Representative spent one week prior to the poll, monitoring the preparations for the Elections and meeting with various stakeholders.

The other five members of the delegation arrived on 15 February 2013.

On Polling Day, three teams were deployed to observe the Elections in all constituencies of Grenada except for Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

The team visited a total of fourteen constituencies. The team was out on Poll Day well before the polling stations were opened to witness the opening of the polls, the voting process, the closing of the polls and the counting.

All stakeholders and observers – local, regional and international – were given approval to witness the count. The Mission is pleased to place on record that all counting was conducted in a transparent manner.

The Mission took note of and generally observed the following:

 

*The poll was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere, without any incidence of intimidation observed or being reported. The People of Grenada exercised their democratic right in a civil and responsible manner demonstrating respect for the electoral process.

 

*Polling stations opened on time and it was observed that all the polling officials were present. The police provided adequate security at all polling stations observed.

 

*Polling stations were suitable in terms of location and capacity to accommodate electors. The stations were adequately supplied with the necessary material and the staff were knowledgeable about polling procedures.

Most of the Presiding Officers and other electoral officials appeared confident and operated within the framework of the law.

 

The Mission wishes to state that, in assessing the conduct of the Poll, it was found that voters in Grenada were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or harassment which augurs well for the conduct of an orderly and peaceful election.

The CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission was of the view that the assessment is that the preparations for the conduct of the Poll were exceptional and the workers were properly trained which allowed them to execute their duties in a professional, confident and impartial manner.

The Mission wishes to congratulate the Supervisor of Elections, the Parliamentary Election Office, the Poll workers, the Political Parties and the People of Grenada for the decent way in which the elections were conducted, without any reported incidents of violence and a display of great patience by voters while waiting in the long queues.

The CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission is of the view that the results of the Parliamentary Elections reinforced the commitment of the People of Grenada to the democratic process.

The findings and recommendations of the Mission, including any suggestions for strengthening the electoral process of Grenada, will be included in the Report to the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community.

Finally, the CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission wishes to express its gratitude to the political leaders, the Supervisor of Elections, Civil Society and the People of Grenada for their warm welcome and cooperation which contributed to the success of the Mission. It was much appreciated.

Republic Bank invests $39,690.00 in Education

Republic Bank Managing Director with Dr. Curtis Jacobs and UWI Bursary Recipients

For many persons, the prospect of academic advancement is often inhibited due to the costs involved.

For the sixth consecutive year Republic Bank continues to provide Grenadian nationals with the opportunity for higher learning through its Bursary Programme, for studies enrolled with the University of the West Indies, Open Campus-Grenada.

Twelve (12) students recently received tuition bursaries from the Bank for the 2012/2013 academic year totaling $39,690.00 (Thirty Nine Thousand Six Hundred & Ninety Dollars.

During a presentation ceremony, Republic Bank’s Managing Director, Keith Johnson, in congratulating the recipients, expressed delight that “so many young people have taken the initiative to make the worthwhile investment of seeking to further their education”, and gave the Bank’s commitment to continue to empower our nation’s youth.

Head of the UWI Open Campus – Grenada, Dr. Curtis Jacobs, thanked the Bank for its commitment to assisting young students and implored the recipients to encourage more of their peers to enroll in the Open Campus programme.

Launched in 2007, the Republic Bank Bursary Programme has, to date, expended $118,370.00 to assist several Grenadians who are otherwise unable to study full time at a UWI Campus.

The programme enhances the Bank’s UWI Scholarship which, introduced over a decade ago, is made available each year to assist qualified Grenadians with pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree full time at any of the UWI main campuses.

Republic Bank is pleased to continue supporting the development of young people through education.

The Bank’s collective annual commitment for both the Scholarship and Bursary Programmes is $60,000.00, and disbursement is based on academic ability and case of need.

 

NNP brings in Maharaj

Ramesh Maharaj, Senior Counsel, of Trinidad and Tobago

The New National Party has engaged the services of the distinguished and high profiled attorney, Mr. Ramesh Maharaj, Senior Counsel, of Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr Maharaj S.C. heads an experienced, regional legal team, including local Grenadian attorneys, that will provide legal oversight to the New National Party during the General Election in Grenada on Tuesday 19th February, 2013.

The strength and extent of this legal presence reflects the New National Party’s commitment to ensuring every possible measure is put in place to uphold the democratic rights of every eligible citizen in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique for free and fair elections.

There will be strong legal support in each and every constituency. This formidable legal team will be available to the field agents deployed in each polling division on Election Day to ensure that the integrity of the voting process is preserved.

Extensive training has been conducted to ensure all polling and field agents are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities and are thoroughly prepared to carry out their duties on Election Day.

In addition, each polling agent has been equipped with an election day handbook outlining the do’s and don’t of the voting procedures in accordance to the law.

The New National Party, in recognition of its role and responsibility to the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, has taken these additional steps in the interest of ensuring that the will of the people is respected.