The year 2016 is already shaping up to be an action filled one for residents in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
There are early signs that the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell is starting to think of putting definite plans in place for the next general elections.
The Prime Minister made this clear when he met reporters for the first time on Monday for the New Year and indicated that things will start to be put in place to make sure that the NNP is ready.
Undoubtedly, the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) under Nazim Burke will seek to intensify its preparation over the next 12 months.
Congress has started 2016 hoping to rally the people around the Camerhogne Park issue in light of signs that a number of persons on the island are not in support of losing the area to a foreign investor.
The other major issue that NDC would seek to gain political capital on is the planned referendum in the first half of the year on the controversial issue of Constitutional Reform.
Outside of the political fray, the government would have to face up with some of the genuine and honest gripes of the trade unions on the island.
Public sector unions are already up in arms over the $1000.00 a month increase offered to the female Press Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.
The wound has widened due to the nonsensical statement made by Minister of State for Education, Senator Simon Stiell that the Press Secretary is doing the work of five of the persons who were on the Staff of former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
Is the Press Secretary doing the work of former Ambassador William Joseph, at the Caricom level, as well as Aaron Moses who was involved in projects, as well as the persons who were doing detail security work?
The three public sector unions – PWU, GUT and TAWU – have their own constituency needs to address especially the workers at the bottom ladder of the pay scale.
The President of the Grenada Trades Union Council (GTUC), Kenny James has already sounded a warning about the burning issues that will be put on the front burner like the long outstanding increments.
Apart from the $1000.00 increase given to the Press Secretary, the government has singled out for special treatment and granted an increase for a certain category of workers on the public payroll.
What were the criteria used to give a pay hike to these workers? Why can’t the same criteria be used to give salary increases to other public sector employees especially those in the critical health sector?
And news are emerging that an individual who has been deemed a failure in the state-owned bodies will soon land another top paying job in the Ministry of Finance due to family ties to the NNP.
This is another contradiction from the Mitchell government in light of its stated attrition policy of seeking to cut on numbers within the public sector as part of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).
What is this individual bringing to the Ministry of Finance and the government service when he could not keep his job elsewhere?
Prime Minister Mitchell and those within the ruling circles might have some kind of an ace up their sleeves, which the ordinary man in the street might not be aware of at this point in time.
PM Mitchell breathes politics every minute of the day and would not want to give the opposition any semblance of a chance to regain State power.
This is an individual who is now pre-occupied with legacy and THE NEW TODAY will not rule out the possibility of the current Grenadian leader looking beyond the next general elections and even the other one constitutionally due in 2023.
It’s still time for the NDC to go back on the drawing board and restrategise for the new general election in order to not only move off the zero mark in terms of seats but capturing the seat of government.
Is the current construct the best that is available to the party at this point in time? What changes are needed and might be necessary in order to bolster the party’s chances in a national election.
Can the NDC do a scientific poll to get the views of the ordinary rank and file Grenadians on the way forward as opposed to those of its ardent and loyal followers?
Congress leaders should be aware of the fact that elections are all about numbers and there is no place in the corridors of power for those who run second no matter how tight is the race.