The daily appearance of the Junior Minister of Youth and Sports, Senator Sheldon Scott on a local FM radio station, could cost him some of income once the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is returned to power.
That statement was made by Political Leader of Congress, Senator Nazim Burke while addressing last week’s People’s Parliament at the Grand Mal Playing Field in St. George’s.
Sen. Scott is said to be the co-host of a radio program heard Monday to Friday during the mid-morning in the week promoting the views of the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Several persons have raised concerns on the grounds that the government member should be engaged during that time in work on behalf of the state instead of engaging in partisan politics.
Sen. Burke told the public meeting that NDC is counting every single hour that Sen. Scott is off the government job and engaged in the promotion of the NNP program on the airwaves.
“If and when we form the next government any monies that are entitled, any money that Sheldon Scott is entitled to by way of gratuity will be deducted,” he said.
One of the regular callers to various radio programs around the island, John Rullow who in the past has raised concerns over the Senator’s involvement with the radio program, related an encounter he had via the telephone with Sen. Scott.
Rullow told GBN’s “To the Point program” that he was phoned up by Sen. Scott who threatened him with a libel suit if he (Rullow) continues to speak about his appearances on the call-in programs.
According to Rullow, the government member told him to point to any law existing in the country that prevents him from appearing on these radio programmes.
The NNP is said to be anxious to get some of its talk show hosts like Sen. Scot back on the airwaves in order to counter the effects of Kem Jones, a political activist of Congress whose is reportedly attracting a large listenership.
A party insider told this newspaper that the NNP political leadership believes that Jones needs to be “neutralised” and the team headed by Senior Media Advisor and Consultant, Hamlet Mark is not doing the job.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas wants to see his fellow nationals rise up and take a firm stand against the erosion of democratic institutions in the country.
The former Prime Minister’s comments came in the wake of the resignation of the acting Supervisor of Elections, Aaron Francois citing “professional and personal” reasons for taking the decision to quit the post.
There are unconfirmed reports that Francois did not take too kindly to the transfer of an IT official from the office without any consultation with him.
Thomas who addressed the situation during his appearance on a talk show program indicated that there is a very dangerous trend taking place with the lack of respect for democratic institutions.
He indicated that the Office of the Supervisor of Election is established under Section 35 of the constitution which empowers the Governor General to designate a public officer to serve in that office.
He said anyone other than the Head of State who tries to control or give direction to the Supervisor of Elections will be interfering with the process.
He said governments disregard for the constitution is something for which the people of Grenada must revolt against.
The former Prime Minister stated that he cannot see how civil society groupings such as the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCIC) and the Conference of Churches Grenada (CCG) are just sitting down and tolerating the erosion of the democratic institutions by the one-year old Mitchell government.
“Whenever civil society remains silent and refuses to talk on this thing it put us in a catastrophe,” he said.
“Integrity has become a scarce commodity in the ranks of the New National Party,” he added.
According to the former Prime Minister, the recent developments at the Parliamentary Elections Office should serve as a wake-up call for all Grenadians.
Last week Friday, Congress members and supporters picketed the Electoral Office to register their disgust over the recent happenings at the office.