By Ray Roberts
The public declaration by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell in the Constituency of St. Patrick East, telling the residents that Pamela Moses’ seat will be declared by midday (on election day) followed by Tobias Clement of St. George North East raises suspicion of a rigged General Elections whenever they are called.
At a Press Conference in September, the Prime Minister questioned how a party in government – Congress – in control of the election machinery could lose all 15 seats in 2013.
Is Dr. Mitchell sending a subtle message that a party is power should never lose a general election?
Was he telling the population and nation in a rather discreet manner that a party in power should resort to rigging elections like what used to happen during a particular era in Guyana?
As a Grenadian, I have to look at the PM’s utterances against the backdrop of what happened earlier this year when some of the most qualified Returning Officers in the Electoral office were sacked – a decision which forced the deputy Supervisor of Elections to immediately tender her resignation.
The country should never forget also the treatment received by Supervisor of election, Judy Benoit who was thrown out of the office in a disgraceful manner by the Governor-General, Dame Cecile La Grenade.
I had an opportunity to read the court documents in the case brought by Ms. Benoit and I just cannot believe what I saw in the document about the GG’s mannerisms.
However, the election utterances by the Prime Minister and leader of the NNP beg the question, “Has he put an election machinery in place to deliver the results he desires?”
Those public comments from the Prime Minister could only undermine confidence in the democratic process.
It should not be forgotten that NNP supporters and GBN talk show hosts wasted no time in beating up on the NDC Convention Speaker from Guyana who said, “Put out your children if they don’t vote.”
The fact is children cannot vote, only adults 18 years and over are allowed to cast a vote, yet it stayed in the news for two weeks and counting.
Dr. Mitchell brought the former Vincy Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell to speak at the funeral of late Prime Minister Sir Eric Matthew Gairy and peddled the notion that Sir Eric told him that Dr. Mitchell was the best to take over.
This is a whole lot of hogwash because Sir Eric never trusted or liked Keith Mitchell.
Sir Eric is known to have told persons that Dr. Mitchell is very power hungry and has to be always watched because he would knife anyone in the back and put them under the bus in order to get at the top.
Ask the late H.A Blaize about knife in the back. Ask former Speaker of the House George Mc Guire about how Dr. Mitchell took over the NNP from Blaize or you can invoke Ben Jones and ask him about the treachery back in 1989.
The CaribUpdate – a propaganda mouthpiece of the NNP – takes issue with the membership of the Civil Society Organisations, claiming they are politically connected.
However, the paper that is said to be funded by the always smiling lawyer seems to endorse the utterances of the Prime Minister, having not said a word about his pronouncements about the Electoral Office.
Already we are experiencing mass confusion with the electoral list.
The evidence is abundant, too!!! See hundreds of people in the 15 constituencies have picture identification cards but cannot find their names on the electoral list. And, in other cases, their names are switched to polling divisions miles away from their homes.
Is there a concerted effort to frustrate these people so that they will not vote on election day. Is this part of a wider conspiracy to pave the way down the road for voter padding.
Also, the confidence in the newly appointed Deputy Supervisor of Election is low because of accusations that she was a strong supporter of the ruling party and very active in her area in St. Patrick.
Can the goodly lady deny the allegation since a number of people in her part of the world can never forget how rabid she was in supporting the NNP over the years.
The Electoral Office is run by modern technology and with the party in power having its people running the show, anything is possible.
There is talk now floating of a computer guru from Eastern Europe on the island and working with NNP for the upcoming election. What would be his role in the lead up to the election?
You can’t blame opposition parties for being suspicious about free and fair general elections in Grenada under the current setting.
An ordinary candidate boasting and predicting victory one way or the other might be accepted but to have the Prime Minister giving specific details about which seat will be declared and at what time on election day warrants an eagle’s eye observation from the OAS and in particular, we Grenadians.
The leader of the nation has to be more sensitive and thoughtful in his public pronouncements – more so when his credibility is in question. Even his own supporters will tell you he is very clever and unconcerned about John Public’s views.
The Prime Minister remembers his 1999 clean sweep and the subsequent elections in 2003 in which he won by just six questionable votes in Carriacou to rule an eight-seven House of Representatives.
Back in those days, Chester Humphrey used to taunt him about holding onto power by a thread and it can burst anytime soon.
The mood in the country is discomforting because of the huge failure of the NNP to deliver on jobs andenchantment.
Grenada today has more than 8000 people in the de-bushing programme — two fortnights, three times per year. Hundreds of them are young people just out of secondary school and college.
The individual income of these people is less than the $12,000.00 per year increase the Prime Minister gave to his Press Secretary, Keisha Alexander-Grant. De-bushers only make about $3500 per year and in one swoop PM Mitchell and NNP give the lady an increase that is four times what a debusher is getting.
Poverty stands at around 45 percent and youth unemployment is said to be over 50 percent.
Victory at all costs could be the burning desire of the NNP, and that means everything is in play! Victory at all cost!
The ruling party does have capable men and women who know what it takes to achieve the right results. Some of them are non-believers, and therefore Christian principles and morality mean nothing to them.
Their desire is power and control. Their history speaks for itself – between 1979 and now, they have found favour with the government of the day. They continue to enjoy the good life and shall not give that up for absolutely anything!