Roland Bhola: There is nothing unusual happening

Two Government Ministers appear to be lost over the possible time Prime Minister and Political Leader of the New National Party (NNP) Dr. Keith Mitchell will call General Elections that are constitutionally due in 2018.

Speculation is rife that Dr. Mitchell who is known not to go down to the wire in calling General Elections is contemplating having the country go to the polls sometime between October 2016 and by the first quarter of 2017.

However, General Secretary of the ruling NNP Roland Bhola said this time around Dr. Mitchell might just surprise everybody and go to the end.

“The history of Dr. Mitchell has shown that he has never gone to the very end, it is said age does bring reasoning, as the wine gets older it lasts longer – we never know. This time around he might just surprise everybody and go to the very end,” Bhola said Monday night on a local radio and television programme.

The senior government minister appeared on GBN’s “Beyond the Headlines” to give an account of the NNP’s stewardship since sweeping the polls 15-0 against the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in February 2013.

Bhola told the host that the issue of General Elections has not been brought to the party’s attention.

However, party insiders told this newspaper that the NNP has intensified its canvassing of the voter’s list.

In addition, some persons have reportedly been contacted by the Electoral Office asking them if they would be available to work for the office on polling day.

The constitution gives the Prime Minister exclusive right to set the date for the election.

Bhola, the elected Member of Parliament for the rural St. Andrew North-east constituency, sought to downplay reports about the NNP readiness for an early poll.

“I sit at the level as General Secretary and I think if there is going to be an early election, persons like myself and Senator (Simon) Stiell who is the PRO (Public Relations Officer), official spokespersons of the party, would have some kind of hint. There is nothing unusual happening, there is nothing that would suggest to us, nothing has been said to us to indicate such,” he said.

The NNP General Secretary outlined how the party is structured.

He said within the different layers of  the party there is a special committee that deals with matters and issues pertaining to elections, while there is another committee that concentrates on the organisational work.

Sen. Stiell who was also a guest on the television programme said the focus of the government right now is “delivering on the promises that we made to the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique,” and not thinking about the next General Elections.

“That is the focus of the discussions that are taking place within the party,” he added.

Dr. Mitchell recently informed a radio programme that his party was engaged in a one-day retreat which mandated Members of Parliament to spend more time in their constituencies.

NNP insiders have been making mention of a recent poll which suggested that the party is poised to sweep all 15 seats for a third time in the upcoming poll.

The feat was first accomplished in 1999.

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