All fifteen seats in Grenada’s 15-member House of Representatives are now vacant.
The Governor-General, Sir Carlyle Glean was asked to dissolve Parliament and set the stage for the February 19 general elections on the advise of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
The Prime Minister made the nation aware of the development through an address to the nation on January 9.
“Ladies and gentlemen, once again I bring you best wishes for a productive, peaceful and successful year. As I indicated in my new year’s address, the year 2013, despite the lingering challenges, will usher in some exciting possibilities.
We will see the implementation of many programmes and projects that we have been working on over the past four years. These programmes and projects constitute key elements of the foundation that we have laid for the growth and development of our beloved country.
This evening, I wish to address a matter that is current and important to all Grenadians. Since July 2012 the Parliament of Grenada has been customarily prorogued. Around the same time, there were a few resignations from government. Many were pondering the government’s options, given the prevailing circumstances and the electoral timeframe that our country is in.
One of the considerations at the time was the scheduling of our impending general elections. In order to responsibly and effectively hold a free and fair general election, the electoral machinery must be in place and ready to facilitate and conduct such.
Given the need to ensure that all Grenadians who are 18 years and over and are registered to vote, are given a fair chance to exercise their hard earned franchise, and against the background of the introduction of a new voter registration system, my government’s focus was on ensuring that the new system was properly put in place.
It should be noted that if an election was called before the new voter registration was put in place, the old system has to be used. This system, as many of you know, needed to be urgently improved, because, among other things, the equipment was obsolete and the list padded.
As a result the isolated calls for an early election before the completion of the new system, in my view, was irresponsible, self-serving and not in the best interest of all Grenadians. Every Grenadian needs to be given an opportunity to participate in a free and fair process of choosing a government.
Ladies and gentlemen, I now wish to convey that, in my view, much progress has been made with our electoral preparation. Many Grenadians have responded to the call to be registered. This has contributed significantly to our state of readiness.
As such I now wish to advise that today I advised His Excellency the Governor General to dissolve the Parliament of Grenada. This act paves the way for the setting of an election date within the next ninety days.
It should further be noted by all, that on the naming of an election date, the Governor General’s responsibility is to promptly issue the relevant writ. When this is done, voter registration ceases immediately.
Given my abiding desire and mission to ensure that all Grenadians who are 18 years and over and are registered to vote, can participate in the process, I further advise that I will be announcing the election date shortly to give the last opportunity for registration.
All such persons who are yet to register are urged to do so now. Your patriotic and civic responsibility is to exercise your franchise and to participate in the growth and development of our country”.