Grenadians are being encouraged to pay closer attention to what is taking place in the country under the leadership of the close to three year old ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The call comes from the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) which has accused government of embarking on what has been labeled a “starve and bribe policy towards persons who are perceived to be opponents of the regime.”
Addressing the media on the issue during the weekly press conference in St. George’s last week Wednesday, NDC Deputy Political leader Joseph Andall, pointed to what he termed “ a very troubling trend” in the country, where “people are denied the normal rights and privileges of citizenship such as, the right to work, equal opportunities and protections of the law, based solely on partisan consideration.”
Andall said it is the view of the NDC that the developing trend is being “engendered by the concept of the so-called project Grenada, which ultimately has as its objective the establishment of a one party state in our country.”
“We believe that the period of independence is as good a time as any to reflect on that trend (which) is threatening to undermine the very foundations of our democracy and the freedom that we currently enjoy,” he told reporters.
Andall also expressed the view that the country is under “government by ambush where citizens only learn about certain things after the fact,” pointing out that “nothing has come out of all the promised consultations by the Prime Minister upon his taking office after the February 2013 general elections.
“We would just hear for example that this is being sold or that has been given away and the answers that we get from government create more confusion than clarity,” said the NDC No.2 leader.
He also expressed grave concern with the “prevalence of attempts to manipulate and intimidate different sectors of the media,” and pointed to plethora of inaccurate stories being reported and “the suppression of news, the twisting of facts”.
According to Andall, “there is a hidden hand somewhere at play” within the media.
He said another issue of concern is the “blatant abuse of the public purse” to further the ends of the New National Party (NNP).
“We see for example the allocation of EC$15 million under the Prime Minister’s Ministry, solely, for the purpose of currying favour for dishing out contracts to party hacks, supporters and followers of the NNP,” he added.
Andall also pointed to a ceremony held for the recent opening of a stretch of road in the New Hampshire (Willis) area, where “free drinks were flowing like water.”
He questioned whether or not the drinks were sponsored by state resources, NNP, or by independent friends of the ruling party.
“It is unconscionable, in a time like this when things are so hard and people are being called upon to make sacrifices, for pubic monies, if that’s the case, to be literally poured down the drain in furtherance of the political objectives of the ruling party,” he said.
Andall accused Prime Minister Mitchell of “taking us (Grenadians) for a ride,” when he promised to look into concerns that were raised about the two members of parliament, previously 3, who continued to receive ministerial salaries even though they held no portfolios.
“Apparently, he (Dr. Mitchell) is still looking (because) nothing has come out of that,” Andall recalled as he called on “Dr. Mitchell to come clean with the people of our country and make a decision on that once and for all.”
The Congress official also raised once again “the continued abuse of Senator Sheldon Scott, who spends two hours of every work day on taxpayers money doing political work on behalf of his party, while he continues to be paid by the taxpayers of our country (and) we are not being serviced”.
Andall also called on the NNP regime “to desist from such acts” and “for the government to run the country in an open and transparent manner to take away the cloud of suspicion that hangs over every government action and decision.”
“…We are calling on the government to stop,” Andall said, as he urged Grenadians to “take heed of what is going on in the country in a very subtle but dangerous way,”.
He also made a plea for “independent and fair-minded citizens and groups in our country to call for (government) to halt to these practices.
NDC has been seeking to intensify its political work out of a belief that PM Mitchell might be planning to call a snap poll by early as June.
Congress is presently not represented in the Lower House of Parliament as the party lost all 15 seats to NNP in general elections held three years ago.