A top member of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is urging Grenadians to become politically vigilant so as to avoid the country slipping into a one-party state.
Joseph Andall who was recently elected as the Deputy Political Leader of Congress made the comment in light of statements being made by high ranking officials of the ruling New National Party (NNP) for Grenada to become a one-party state.
“Those people who think along those lines, they clearly do not have the interest of the country at heart’’ he said.
Andall indicated that whenever the country finds itself being controlled by one organisation with power over the Executive, the Legislative, Judiciary, and law enforcement agency, the people will be in for a long and hard ride.
He said all over the world people are revolting against one-partyism that is ruled by a select clique.
“It would be a backward step, especially in a year when we are talking about commemorating 40 Years of independence for anyone to be embracing that idea of totalitarianism in our politics”, he added.
“There is enough space in the political landscape for everyone in Grenada and no one or no group should feel that they have a monopoly on good ideas, or that they have a monopoly or the way our country should be run, and everyone has to be careful about that,’’ he said.
Just last week radio broadcaster Andre Donald who is closely aligned to NNP conducted an interview with Education Minister Anthony Boatswain on Real FM radio station and disclosed that former Tourism Minister Peter David who is now an Advisor to Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell had made a suggestion that Grenada should find itself in a one-party state.
Donald said that about one month ago David briefed him on a style of government in which one party would be in power without opposition for up to 15 years and later ushering opposition through proportional representation.
According to Donald, David who once held the powerful post of General Secretary in Congress stressed that Grenada’s biggest problem is that it continues to adhere to Westminster style of government.
David is a former member of the left-leaning New Jewel Movement (NJM) which virtually ran a one-party state when it seized power in a 1979 coup d’etat against the elected Eric Gairy government.
The NJM created the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop, and proceeded to detain without trial a number of its political opponents like former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, Stanley Cyrus, Winston Whyte, the late Teddy Victor, and Clem Langdon.
Grenada returned to the Parliamentary system of government when U.S troops stormed the island on October 25, 1983 to remove a military junta led by General Hudson Austin that had seized power in a second bloody coup in which Bishop and three Cabinet colleagues were among several persons killed at Fort George.
David who served as a Captain in the disbanded People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) and Junior Minister for Information, marked his return to frontline politics when he joined Congress and successfully contested the Town of St. George seat in the 2003 general elections.
He and nine other so called rebels were expelled from NDC in September 2012 at the height of a struggle for control of the party and government.
Andall said if Grenadians ever allow the NNP to solidify its grip on State Power in the country it would be a very sad day for Grenada.
The NNP already has control of the Lower House of Parliament after it won all of the 15 Parliamentary seats in the February 2013 General Elections.
The NDC Number Two Man who was a guest on the party’s weekly radio program, “NDC Heartbeat” pointed to the attempts that are already being made to muzzle freedom of expression through the Electronic Crimes Act of 2013.