Burke: NNP wants a one-party state

The National Democratic Congress leaders remain concerned with the decisions of the Keith Mitchell regime

The National Democratic Congress leaders remain concerned with the decisions of the Keith Mitchell regime

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) party is concerned with moves afoot to turn Grenada into a one-party rogue state about the New National Party (NNP) at the helm.

Political Leader of Congress, Nazim Burke used a recent press conference held by the party to question the quality of government the island has been getting since the NNP was voted back into office just over 14 months ago.

Burke told the media that NDC is concerned that Grenada is moving away from being a civilised nation to that of a rogue state.

“We are very concerned about this unfolding one-party state which some of the surrogates of the New National Party have indicated they want to see happen, we are very concerned that we are moving away from a civilized nation into a rogue State and that is why we must speak up against these things,” he said.

Former Congress Minister, Peter David who has defected to NNP in recent months, has been identified as the chief proponent of the one-party state for the Spice Isle.

David was a prominent figure in the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution of the Marxist-oriented New Jewel Movement (NJM) of late Prime Minister Maurice Bishop that had imprisoned its political opponents including ex-Congress leader, Tillman Thomas.

Burke highlighted 20 serious issues which Congress has concerns about with respect to the manner in which the Keith Mitchell-led government has been involved in within the first 400 days of returning to the seat of government.

He accused the administration of attacks on “the laws of the country, the institutions of the country, the norms, conventions and protocol of the country”.

He said that events are unfolding at an alarming pace, which show that the government is involved in some kind of lawless or reckless behaviour every 20 days in office.

Burke, the former Finance Minister between 2008 and 2013 under Congress, told reporters that some of his biggest concerns of his party are related to the operations of the Parliamentary Elections Office.

He made specific reference to government’s decision to install Internet services in the various Electoral Offices around the country and to put the Voter Registration System on a shared network with the Office of the Prime Minister.

Burke charged that this move runs contrary to Section 35 of the Grenada Constitution, the supreme law of the land.

He said the Constitution gives clear guidelines to the Supervisor of Elections, making it abundantly clear that the Office Holder must not answer to anybody other than the Governor General.

He recalled that when former Supervisor of Elections, Judy Benoit challenged the decision of government on the issue, she was removed from the post by Dame Cecile La Grenade.

Burke also said that government ignored Section 35 of the Constitution when it instructed Telecommunications provider, LIME, to install the Internet system at all Parliamentary Elections Offices around the country.

In addition, he said the developments within the Electoral Office must also be viewed within the context of the recent resignation of Aaron Francois who had succeeded the dismissed Benoit as Supervisor of Elections.

Burke said that while Francois cited personal reasons for resigning the position, he believes that his decision to quit was related to the removal of Rupert McBurnie as System Administrator of the Electronic Voter Registration and Card Issuance system at the Electoral Office and being replaced by someone identified as a close relative of an NNP Parliamentarian.

He questioned the motives of the current government to attempt to change or manipulate the electoral system.

“We cannot see why the ruling party which won all 15 seats can have any issue with the elections or the conduct of the elections,” he said.

Burke called on the local media to investigate the issues of concerns and report their findings to the Grenadian people.

Senators Franka Alexis-Bernadine and Dr. George Vincent who were also in attendance at the press conference expressed concerns with some of the actions of the Mitchell administration in the past 14 months.

Alexis-Bernadine who served as Minister for Education under Congress Government said she was extremely concerned about the level recklessness in office by the NNP regime.

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