The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is taking a keen interest on a number of developments taking place in the country by the governing New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Political Leader and former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas who was addressing party faithfuls at a rally on the Hermitage Government School Grounds last Sunday indicated that the mandate given to the NNP was not one to undermine the Constitution of Grenada and to victimise people.
The NNP swept the polls in the February 19 General Elections by winning all of the 15 Parliamentary seats.
Thomas said there is now a trend in society where the rights of citizens are being restricted, the Constitution disregarded, and the people victimised.
The former Prime Minister spoke of the recent victimisation that was meted out to Judy Benoit as Supervisor of Elections for standing up to questionable directives handed down to her by the Cabinet of Ministers that is chaired by Dr. Mitchell.
Thomas said he has always identified with those who uphold and promote the Constitution, but in that case he cannot identify with Dr. Mitchell and his Cabinet in their subversion of the Constitution.
The NDC Political Leader said his party will continue to defend the rights of the people of Grenada as it is the only political party that embraces the aims and aspirations of the Grenadian people.
“We are a party that is committed to the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique,” he told the gathering.
NDC’s Deputy Political Leader, Senator Nazim Burke also took a swipe at the NNP Administration since it came into office eight months ago.
Sen. Burke summoned the Grenadian people to stand up and resist what he termed as the “bad habits” of the Mitchell administration.
He felt that seven months ago the people of Grenada made a grave mistake by electing the NNP back into office.
“We pointed out during the campaign that it would be a terrible mistake to take us back to the years, 1995 to 2008. Unfortunately. The people were sold a lie,” he said.
The NNP was aided in the election victory by a group of rebels from Congress that included expelled government ministers Peter David, Joseph Gilbert and Karl Hood, as well as self-styled media consultant, Hamlet Mark.
In addressing NDC supporters at the public meeting, Sen. Burke indicated that all of the promises Dr. Mitchell and the NNP made in the election campaign have now changed to calling on the people to make sacrifices.
Some of the key promises included the building of a new economy, the provision of thousands of jobs in the construction industry, and unveiling a list of investors who were ready to come into the country to do business ventures.
Sen. Burke charged that the eight-month old Mitchell government is laying the foundation to turn Grenada into a tyrant State.
He said the operations of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is being interfered with as some members of the leadership are being removed, while some persons who have been convicted of various crimes are being brought back into the ranks of the force.
However, Burke said Congress is not intimidated nor shaken by the tactics of the Mitchell government.
“Grenada belongs to Grenadians. Grenada does not belong to Dr. Keith Mitchell and the New National Party. We must make it clear that while you are given a mandate to run our country, you remain accountable to the people and you must answer to the people,” he remarked.
The NDC Deputy Political Leader disclosed that in the past month, the party has been engaging the people including various bodies on the island informing them about what has been happening in the country.
He said the mission will continue and that meetings are planned with other groups that will include farmers, fishermen, bus drivers, taxi drivers, the Grenada Bar Association, and the Grenada Medical Association.
The public gathering was also addressed by NDC Caretaker for St. Patrick’s West, Joseph Andall who touched on the critical economic and financial crisis facing the country and the announcement by government that it intends to embark upon a series of austerity measures which it is hoping to get endorsement from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
According to Andall, if Grenadians are to make sacrifices as a means of salvaging the economy then certain demands have to be made of the NNP Administration.
He recalled that during the previous NNP regime, dividend monies earmarked for the State from Cable and Wireless was used to finance a failed Call Centre venture at the Simon Industrial Complex in St. Andrew’s that was started by close relatives of Prime Minister Mitchell.
When confronted by the former Opposition Leader Michael Baptiste on the monies owed to the state by his family members, Dr. Mitchell told a sitting of the Parliament that the millions owed will repaid. However, the promise was not kept.
According to Andall, a demand must be made for “the Call Centre money be repaid to the National Treasury before we make any sacrifice”.
The Call Centre venture along with the failed Garden Group of hotels project in the south of the island, along with the millions of guarantees given to the abandoned Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB) project in the Lagoon contributed $EC250 million to the national debt.