The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has placed under the microscope the many challenges that are facing the country.
The party’s annual General Council held at the River Sallee Government School in St. Patrick’s last Sunday dealt with Congress’ “Policy Agenda” as a one-agenda item for the closed-door exercise.
Addressing a public meeting at the end of the General Council, Party Leader, Senator Nazim said the delegates had an opportunity to consider some of the challenges currently faced by the country.
He said the delegates reflected on the fact that the people’s sovereignty, pride and integrity as a nation are under threat.
“We reflected on the fact.. that those who are in control of our government… are the very ones who are disrespecting and disobeying our laws,” he told the gathering.
According to Sen. Burke, the law governing the operations of the controversial passport-selling scheme known as Citizenship By Investment (CBI) Programme provides for the Minister responsible for the programme to provide Parliament every six months with a progress report.
However, he said that to date no report has been made available to Parliament by the Line Minister who happens to be Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
A Congress government, Sen. Burke said will undertake a comprehensive review of the CBI Programme to determine whether the benefits coming from it are at a risk to the country.
The NDC leader said if it is determined that the risk are greater than the benefits, it will be dismantled under his watch.
“We will protect Grenada’s name, we will protect our integrity,” he remarked.
A month ago, Chinese businessman, Charles Liu who resides in the United States and serves as the Commercial Attaché’ to the Grenada Embassy in Beijing, China, was charged by the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) in the U.S with fraud in connection with a proposed cancer treatment facility in California.
Liu who is listed as the major investor in the proposed US$2 billion tourism project at Mt. Hartman was granted economic citizenship and a diplomatic passport by the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration.
Within weeks of his charge, news surfaced that two other Chinese on their country’s most wanted fugitives list, Fu Yaobo and Zhang Qingzhao, who were holders of Grenadian citizenship under the CBI were captured in neighbouring St. Vincent & The Grenadines.
The two had fled China a year and a half ago under suspicion of jointly embezzling public funds (29.96 million Yuan) and have since been handed over to law enforcement officials in Beijing.
Sen. Burke told the public meeting that the NDC General Council came to the conclusion that a regime change is necessary in the country, and delegates pledged that the main opposition party will take the responsibility of bringing about that change.
He felt that the time has come for Grenada to rise to its true potential.
He said it is not the will, talent, resilience, and determination to work of the people that is the problem for Grenada operating below its capacity, but good leadership is missing.
“Our country lacks leadership. What this country needs… are credible, responsible leaders who are prepared to harness the talents of our country so that we can go forward as a proud nation,” he added.
Sen. Burke said the General Council also used the opportunity to develop its vision for the country.
“We’re developing the policies that will take our country forward,” he told the meeting.
According to the NDC leader, while Congress does not have its thumb on the date for the next General Elections, it is expecting it over an 18 month period.
Sen. Burke urged Grenadians to be prepared for the polls by ensuring that they are registered in order to participate in the electoral process.
The NDC was trounced 15-0 by Mitchell’s NNP at the last polls held in February 2013.