Former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has accused the near two year old New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell of not delivering on the promises made to Grenadians to win all 15 seats in the last general election.
Addressing a gathering last week Wednesday night at the self-styled “People’s Parliament” held at Vendomme, St. George’, the former Political Leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress charged that the type of delivery that the NNP Administration is now offering to the Grenadian people is far from what was promised during the 2013 Election campaign.
Thomas who headed the Congress government between 2008 and 2013, said Grenada is only experiencing deficits on the international front due to lack of finances as it is not a wealthy country.
He pointed to diplomatic deficits, moral deficits and health deficits under the Mitchell-led regime.
“All that NNP has delivered so far is deficits and we must remember this,” he said.
The ex-Prime Minister’s reference to diplomatic deficit was a clear reference to the recent impasse between resident Chinese Ambassador Ou Boqian and members of the Mitchell government on an agreement reached with Taiwan on an outstanding multi-million dollar loan repayment.
The female Chinese ambassador walked out on Parliamentary Secretary for Information, Senator Winston Garraway during an address at a local media ceremony when he made reference to the Taiwan issue which later resulted in PM Mitchell giving a scolding to Ambassador Ou on the need to respect Grenada’s independence as a sovereign nation.
Ex-PM Thomas told the meeting that Grenada is now at a very serious and crucial stage and there is need for a Leader and a Political Party which stand for certain standards and values.
He believes that former Finance Minister, Nazim Burke who succeeded him as Congress Leader a year ago is the fittest person to not only represent the people of St. George’s North East but to lead the country.
Burke lost the seat that he won in the 2003 and 2008 polls to the relatively unknown Tobias Clement who is a backbencher on the Government Side in Parliament.
According to the former Prime Minister, decadence continues to be a problem in the society especially through political victimization by the NNP rulers.
He said that Grenadians need to be concerned about the standards in the society as many of the institutions of the State are decaying such as the health institution, Police and the Public Service due to political interference.
Thomas contended that NDC’s track record in government shows that it has always worked in the best interest of the people, and always respected the Constitution of the country.
In his presentation, Burke who is a member of the Upper House (Senate) indicated that many of those persons who voted for the NNP on February 19, 2013 are sadly disappointed because the promises that were made to them have not been kept by Dr. Mitchell and his party.
However, he called on Congress supporters and members to refrain from making a mockery of the people who voted for NNP in the last poll.
“Do not curse those who voted for the New National Party, do not be angry with those who voted for the New National Party. When they voted for the New National Party … they were genuinely convinced that Dr. Mitchell and the New National Party were going to deliver opportunities and jobs. They believed that he would bring a better life for their children, they believed that when he said ‘jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs’ he was actually going to bring job opportunities for them and their families and their children”, he said.
According to Sen. Burke, the people who fell for the promises made by Dr. Mitchell “believed that when he said that he had the investors lined up that they were truly investors genuinely waiting to come into our country to create jobs and opportunities and income for our people.
He went on: “They (the electorate) believed that when he (PM Mitchell) told the children of this country that he was going to bring them tablets and laptops, that your children who did not have computers, who were unable to do their home work, who are unable to do their projects, who were unable to do there SBA’s (School based Assessment) because they did not have a computer that their children were going to get an opportunity”.
Sen. Burke who was heavily criticised by NNP for the economic and financial ills of the country in the near five years of Congress rule said that the Mitchell government is continuing to blame the last administration for everything that has gone wrong in the country.
However, he said the NNP cannot now lie to the people and tell them that they are worse off than they were before the last General Elections since the people are facing more hardships today than they faced before the February 19, 2013 general election.
Sen. Burke accused Dr. Mitchell of being a skillful masquerader, and advised the people of Grenada to not just listen but to watch what he does.
The new Congress leader promised the people that a better Grenada is possible and will be realised under the watch of NDC when it gets back into power.
He said he is delighted to walk in the footsteps of those who came before him to serve the people such as former Prime Minister and Congress leader, George Brizan who represented the St. George North-east constituency between 1984-1999.