An incident Tuesday night in the area of Darbeau has sullied the campaign by political parties for the March 13 general election.
THE NEW TODAY understands that there was a physical confrontation between an individual from the Green Street area of St. George’s and another person believed to be a supporter of the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The incident happened in the vicinity of what was billed as a Joint Political Meeting between Prime Minister Mitchell and his candidate for the Town of St. George, Peter David who was once associated with the Congress party.
One of the parties in the conflict, a one time close associate of Candidate Peter David, claimed that he was struck in the face and stomach by the NNP supporter and he retaliated by grabbing him by the neck before other NNP activists also stepped in the fight.
This violent episode ended with the individual from the Green Street area having to run into the compound of Grenlec’s power plant at Queen’s Park to seek refuge.
THE NEW TODAY condemns in the strongest possible terms any attempt by persons on either side of the political divide to engage in violence in the ongoing political campaign.
The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has a duty and responsibility to call in the representatives of all political parties and engage them on the importance of requesting their supporters to keep it clean in Campaign 2018.
This newspaper will readily agree that a lot is at stake in this “Mother of All Elections” but Grenada is more important at the end of the day than any of the politicians and their political parties.
And the police must be seen as being very even- handed and objective in dealing with violence that might be coming from supporters of any of the parties.
This newspaper is also getting the sense that the 2018 elections might surprise a lot of persons when the ballots are counted on the night of March 13.
The NNP appears confident that it will once again sweep all 15 seats throughout the length and breadth of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
However, the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is confident about its own chances of success at the polls.
The Nazim Burke-led Congress would have been given a boost following the massive turn-out of its supporters at the La Sagesse playing field on Sunday to endorse Adrian “Persuader” Thomas as the Candidate for St. David.
It was undoubtedly the largest showing for NDC in the campaign so far and with four more Sundays’ to go the party would now fancy its chances of growing from strength to strength.
THE NEW TODAY will not make any prediction about the outcome of the election but Congress cannot and should not be written off as a political force in the country.
If the party can manage to attract what appears to be “the silent majority” in the country this election can turn on its head almost overnight and leave many politicians for dead.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to make some passing comments on what appears to be a possible tainted Voter’s list for the elections amidst allegations of massive voter padding on the last day of registration of voters in particular.
The Supervisor of Elections is the only person under the law who has the power to remove any name from the Voters list.
About 17 years ago, Opposition Leader Michael Baptiste took the then Supervisor of Elections, Victor Ashby to court following reports that the list at the time was bloated and needed to be purged.
The sitting judge Guyanese jurist, Kenneth Benjamin did not give a ruling on the matter.
The current holder of the post, Mr. Alex Phillip is the only person who can deal with any objection to a name on the list as raised by political parties or John Public.
The onus is on Mr. Phillip to investigate the matter and to call in the person who is being objected to in order to handle the matter.
It is our understanding that the Supervisor of Elections has to give the person the opportunity to prove to him why his/her name should be on the list.
If the person fails to satisfy the Supervisor of Elections the power is in the hands of Mr. Phillip and no one else, not even the Governor-General or the Prime Minister to remove the name.
In the current situation, THE NEW TODAY is suggesting that the onus is on the political parties to protect our voting system by identifying and bringing to the attention of the Supervisor of Elections all suspicious names.
The option is also available to the parties to publish the names of all suspicious persons in the upcoming general elections.
In addition, the names should be handed to the Police with a view to conducting a criminal investigation into anyone who is attempting to break the law and subvert the democratic process.
Grenada needs to protect its democratic system which should at all times guarantee the holding of free and fair general elections so that the true will of the people can always be exercised and not be tampered with by anyone who is hungry for power.