Social worker, Cecelia Ann John who is the Caretaker candidate for the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the St. Patrick East constituency says the time has come for some politicians to bow out of frontline politics.
Appearing on NDC’s “Straight from the Heart” programme aired on one of the local television stations last week, John, said there are many politicians now currently serving Grenada who needs to call it a day.
John was endorsed about a year ago by Congress to shadow the constituency as successor to former Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas who will no longer be seeking public office.
Thomas lost the seat in the 2013 poll to newcomer Clifton Paul of the ruling New National Party (NNP).
John was specifically asked about her plans and opinion on the outlook of politics in the country.
She said: “I think we need to stamp “resign (and) expired” on a number of politicians that are in office right now…they have done what they plan to do in terms of moving the country forward, they have nothing more to offer and it’s time that NDC is given a chance to get back there to serve the people”.
The Congress Caretaker is confident that she and the party’s Deputy Political Leader, Joseph Andall will win the two St. Patrick’s seat (East and West) for NDC in the next general elections.
“The next election the two St. Patrick seats will be coming into the NDC camp,” she told the programme host.
John pointed at several areas in St. Patrick East like Rose Hill, River Sallee and Levera that can be described as “poverty stricken” and should have been given high priority by government but have been sidelined in terms of assistance.
“…When I go into those areas, I can see it (poverty), it’s just steering you in your face…”, she said.
The NDC Caretaker referred to a recent incident in which someone raised with PM Mitchell the issue of poverty and the apparent replacing of the incumbent MP, Clifton Paul with newly appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Pamela Moses.
She said: “… Dr Keith Mitchell … has been in there for 13, 16 years in terms of Prime Minister of the country… (and) … somebody was saying to me one time at Rose Hill that he came up there a few months ago and he said to the people, you know I always remember Rose Hill, I came here in the 80’s and I saw that it had a lot of poverty in this area.”
“… When he (Prime Minister Mitchell) visited about two months ago, a young lady asked him, Sir based on what you said a few months ago (about poverty), I’m asking you why Mr. Clifton Paul wasn’t a member of Cabinet, wasn’t a member who can really look out for our well being of the constituency,” she added.
Paul is said to have approached a few of his colleague MP’s seeking their support to approach PM Mitchell to allow him to run for a second time as the party’s candidate in St. Patrick East.
John spoke out against the “quick fix” approach taking place in St. Patrick East, saying that there seems to be no meaningful sustainability development happening in the constituency.
She said she is doing her best to try and help some of the young people in the constituency to get some hands-on training in a specific skill.
She stated that she started a craft class in Rose Hill for young people to try and provide them with a hands-on skill, it was running for a few months until another group decided to come into the same Community Centre building to offer the same service.
Speculation is rife that the other group is aligned to the ruling NNP of PM Mitchell.
“…We have six polling divisions in that area – why can’t we go around if it’s something meaningful and you really want to help, why you’re trying to compete, so I’ve moved on a bit…,”she said.
John said the people of St. Patrick especially are interested in getting work to better their lives and that of their family members.