Political Leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has cleared himself from the economic crisis now facing the country.
Sen. Burke who was addressing a public meeting of the party at Mt. Moritz, St. George’s last week Wednesday dismissed charges of being responsible as the former Minister of Finance for the severe economic conditions being faced by the people of Grenada.
“I am not responsible for the fact that fifty-five percent of our young people are unemployed.. I am not responsible for the fact that young persons are leaving school, going abroad, getting a university degree, or going to TAMCC (T.A Marryshow Community College) getting an associate degree and then having to go into debushing, I am not responsible for these things,” he told the gathering.
According to the Congress leader, over the past 42 years since Grenada attained political independence, only one man has ever served as Prime Minister of the country for more than one term.
Sen. Burke pointed out that the Father of Independence, the late Sir Eric Matthew Gairy served for one term as Prime Minister between 1974 and 1979 and his successor late Marxist leader, Maurice Bishop served as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1983 before being deposed in a palace coup.
He noted that Herbert Blaize and Ben Jones served the country as its leader between 1984 and 1990, Congress leaders, Sir Nicholas Brathwaite and George Brizan was in charge from 1990 to 1995 but Mitchell had the longest stint from 1995 to 2008.
In addition, Congress’ Tillman Thomas served as the Prime Minister of Grenada from 2008 to 2013 for one term, and Dr. Mitchell is back again to serve his fourth term as head of the government from 2013.
According to Burke, if there is an individual who had an opportunity to transform this country it is Dr. Mitchell.
The NDC Boss told the public meeting the Grenada economy is under-performing, and every time Prime Minister Mitchell and the ruling New National Party (NNP) are challenged about the state of affairs they resort to blaming Nazim Burke and NDC.
He reminded the people that he has never been Prime Minister of the country.
“They can turn around and blame Nazim Burke as much as they want, Nazim Burke was never the Prime Minister of this country,” he said.
Sen. Burke pointed fingers at some former top-ranking members of Congress whom he said are responsible for the demise of the party while in government between 2008 and 2013.
“The people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique were disappointed with the National Democratic Congress, because instead of attending to their needs and their circumstances, instead of attending to their problems in a real way, instead of confronting the fact of a worse financial crisis in the history of the world since 1929, instead of showing sanity to the difficulty the people were going through, our party found itself fighting against each other because our people inside the party tried to form a party within the party, and tried to form a government within the government,” he said.
Burke was referring to the faction led by General Secretary and former Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David that raised its head within Congress and sought to challenge the leadership of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
David and his close associates including trade union leader, Chester Humphrey, ex-Works Minister Joseph Gilbert and Labour Minister, Glynis Roberts were expelled from Congress in late 2012.
David is now a full-fledged member of NNP and is seeking to contest the Town of St. George constituency for the ruling party at the next general elections.
Sen. Burke admonished some people to stop making excuses for the failures of Dr. Mitchell and the NNP regime in office.
“Do not blame the National Democratic Congress,” he quipped.
Sen. Burke believes much better can be done with the resources that are available as the people have demonstrated before that they have the talent, and resilience to transform the country.
The NDC Political Leader referred to the team of people who are likely to be candidates for the party to contest the next General Elections that are constitutionally due in 2018.
“We have a real team, we have a genuine team,” he said.