The ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has completed its “endorsement” ceremonies for its full slate of 15 candidates to face the electorate in the controversial March 13 national general election.
The final three candidates including Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell were officially endorsed at massive rally held at the Car Park of the Kirani James Athletic and Football Stadium on Sunday night.
The other two were Candidate for the Constituency of St. George South-East and Chairman of the party, Gregory Bowen and Candidate for the Town of St. George, attorney-at-law, Peter David who is a former General Secretary of Congress.
With heavy support from family and friends, David was the first to be endorsed and in his acceptance speech said that he is really at “home” within the NNP.
He said: “Four years ago at a ceremony in St. Andrew’s at a ceremony of my dear friend and Comrade sister Delma Thomas, I formally became a member of the New National Party. Brothers and sisters, on that occasion I was overwhelmed by the welcome, I was overwhelmed that people travelled from all over the country to show me support and welcome me into the NNP.
“At that ceremony Brothers and sisters, I used three simple words “Count me in” … count me in this crusade to make Grenada a better place and when you called I responded…today brothers and sisters I am reporting for duty”, he added.
David went on: “Brothers and sisters on this day, the 28th of January, 2018, I, Charles Peter David, humbly accept the party’s nomination to be the candidate for the Town of St. George. Brothers and sisters, I am excited to be a member of this team. I am excited to be a part of a team that is led by a great man, Dr. the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell. Brothers and sisters, Dr. Mitchell has done a tremendous job over the years and for that we are grateful.”
In accepting his endorsement, the veteran Bowen thanked his constituents for their unwavering support over the years.
“You have stayed with me through the challenges and through the achievements and we continue to work together seeking a new mandate for continued development of our area”, he told the crowd.
“I will continue to work tirelessly to enhance the lives of every one of you in every community throughout St. George South East. I have met with so many wonderful people in the constituency throughout these years and you have all made me a better person because of it”, he said.
The ageing Bowen who is contesting his 7th election for the NNP reassured his constituents that he is ready for the task that lies ahead.
He said: “To all the persons who have (contributed) …to ensure that all the progress the constituency and the country have made, I am humbled and grateful. I (will) continue to work with my constituents and Grenadians in general to improve their standard of living. I believe that whenever one is in a position to help someone, it is his or her duty to do so.”
Prime Minister Mitchell in his endorsement speech reiterated the NNP’s commitment to continue with the progress that was made in the last four-and-a-half years in office.
“Our past record and our demonstration of competent governance is reason enough for you to vote again for this very special team but sisters and brothers ours is not just about continuity but about renewal and revival.
“We have bolstered our team by leaders for the future – young people (who are) willing, ready and able to be part of this journey that will take us to the next level, that’s why I declare sisters and brothers once again, tomorrow starts tonight.
“…These past few years, we have reinvented the framework for national development and empowerment and the next term we shall put more flesh to the bones…indeed, sisters and brothers, the Grenada Renaissance is on and we shall see it through, indeed we shall keep moving.”
Dr. Mitchell and his NNP won the 2013 polls on a platform of “hope” for the youth with jobs and an influx of foreign investors but were soon forced after getting into office to introduce several belt-tightening measures as part of a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) with help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to arrest a severe debt situation facing the country.
Grenada had mounted up a massive national debt of EC$2.6 billion dollars with most of it created in the previous 1995-2008 rule by Mitchell’s own NNP.