The 2013 Election campaign has begun and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Mitchell is among the first promising no victimisation of opponents and a removal of spite and hate in politics.
Addressing thousands of supporters during a rally at the Westerhall Playing Field on Sunday, Dr. Mitchell told supporters that Grenada has suffered enough through political division and promised that on his return to office following the February 19 General Elections, he would not try to get back at the Tillman Thomas-led “Government and his cahoots” despite the NDC’s planned attempt to prosecute NNP ministers for alleged corruption in office.
The former prime minister said that a re-elected NNP administration would rid the country of politics of hate and spite, which he said had hurt the image of Grenada immensely.
“NNP has no time to waste harassing people”, said Dr. Mitchell who had brought several lawsuits against critics over the years.
Dr Mitchell accused the Tillman Thomas government of chasing away foreign investors since assuming office following the July 8, 2008 General Election due to constant attacks.
He told the large gathering that an NNP government would not attack foreign investors.
The NNP Leader pointed the way forward for the party through heavy focus on job creation and providing opportunities for economic development. He did not elaborate on the plans to be pursued by a new NNP regime.
However, Dr. Mitchell disclosed that a team of experts is being put together to work with public officers to undertake a comprehensive survey of the situation with respect to government within a few weeks of coming into office.
He announced plans for an analysis to be done of the debts of statutory bodies, the amount of monies owed to regional and international institutions, as well as the private sector.
In addition, a new NNP government headed by him will reform the tax system including the 15% Value Added Tax (VAT), which he has labeled as burdensome and unnecessary.
Prior to the 2008 general election, the NNP of Mitchell had given the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) assurances that it would have introduced VAT but it never did.
The NNP boss said that if the party formed the next government in St. George’s, it will reduce the amount of government ministries in order to cut the monthly payroll.
According to Dr. Mitchell, one of the first undertakings of his administration would be to provide a stimulus package to aid the areas of agriculture, construction, infrastructure development, manufacturing and information communication technology.
He said the NNP will be bringing back on steam the Imani programme that targeting young people by offering them employment skills and opportunities to develop life skills and an education for a monthly stipend.
It was replaced by the NDC’s Grenada Youth Upliftment Programme (GYUP), which Congress described as a more upgraded programme.
The controversial Micro-Enterprise Project, which was scraped by the NDC government in 2011 after discovering an abuse of the system, will be restored, according to Dr. Mitchell to provide soft financing for small businesses/entrepreneurs
The former Prime Minister disclosed that a fund will be established to assist distressed hotels and that his government will engage LIAT to increase flights to Grenada, failing which they will seek to get other airlines to visit the island.
In his previous stint in office, Dr. Mitchell pledged that Grenada will not give LIAT funds for its operations.
The controversial Public Integrity Bill, which calls on public officers to disclose their assets, will be fully implemented.
Dr. Mitchell said that elected officials will have to make full disclosures of their assets, what they acquired over the years, how they acquired it and what they are leaving office with.
The NNP leader who is known for his passion of Cricket promised a return of regional and international cricket to the National Stadium and to reopen the Private Block of the St. George’s General Hospital, which he said was closed under the Congress leadership.
Health Minister, Ann Peters could not be reached for comment on the allegations made by Dr. Mitchell with respect to closure of the private block at the hospital.