Supporters of the ruling New National Party (NNP) will assemble in Tanteen this weekend for the first Convention and Rally following its clean sweep of all fifteen seats in the February 19, General Election.
The Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) is the venue for the convention, which begins at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday while the Roy St John Playing Field will be used to stage a public rally from 4.00 p.m.
The convention will be conducted in a closed-door session for delegates and senior members of the party.
It comes against the backdrop of plans by the cash-strapped NNP-led administration of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to implement a home-grown structural adjustment programme to deal with a severe economic and financial crisis facing the country.
The government has defaulted on payments due to international creditors and is currently seeking endorsement from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a set of austerity measures in the pipeline to deal with the problems facing the country.
Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Mitchell addressed the nation and announced a major policy shift by declaring that he intends to lower the income tax threshold to capture more persons in order to get more revenue to tackle the national debt if EC$2.3 billion.
Over the years, Dr. Mitchell had criticized the income tax since he believed in workers having disposable income in their hands to spend in order to keep the economy turning over.
During a press conference on Tuesday at the NNP head office at Mt Helicon, General Secretary of the party, Roland Bhola told reporters that the party’s 29th convention would see the election of executive members including that of the political leader, now held by Dr. Mitchell.
Bhola said that an estimated 350 delegates are expected to attend the Convention to elect the leadership.
Chairman of the party, Gregory Bowen said that party delegates would focus on issues such as policy-making decisions, increasing the party membership, monitoring the implementation of the NNP Manifesto and improving the party’s public relations.
In the campaign for the February poll, the NNP promised to work on a New Economy for the country, as well as treating as “a matter of priority” payments owed to private sector businesses for monies owed to them for services provided to government, and to establish “a strong and dynamic” Investment and Equity Fund anchored in Grenada to finance viable development projects in Grenada and elsewhere.
The NNP also gave an undertaking to collaborate with the private sector to establish a Distressed Assets Hotel fund, and to embark upon six major development projects in the first year in office, as well as removing import duty and VAT on a range of health and wellness products, and to introduce specialized services for stroke and dementia patients among others.
The NNP also included in its manifesto a plan to establish a network of polyclinics in strategic locations throughout the country to offer maternity, laboratory and diagnostic services, X-ray, ultrasound, casualty and emergency services, psychiatric counseling, dental and eye services to the population.
It was disclosed that a motional speaker whose name was not given would attend the NNP Convention being held under the theme, “NNP United in Service Delivering As Promised, Restoring Hope.”