The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has issued a call to its main rival in the March 13 general election, the ruling New National Party (NNP) to join it in making a pledge that there should be no voter bribery in the upcoming poll.
The NDC calls comes against the backdrop of widespread reports in the country that the NNP is engaged in massive distribution of material to homeowners in some constituencies around the island.
Two weeks ago, there was a posting in Social Media of people coming out of the St. John’s Constituency Office of Minister with responsibility for Fisheries and Forestry, Alvin Da Breo with windows from local manufacturer, Saint Lu, located at the Frequente Industrial Park in Grand Anse.
A top Congress official also told this newspaper that St. David was also being flooded with housing material and household items.
He said that the beneficiaries of the goodies are mainly NNP supporters and those persons who had been threatening “to leave the party”.
In its statement on voter bribery, Congress also called for the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to open a hotline for allegations of bribery in the run up to the election.
The NDC statement said: “Today, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) challenges the New National Party (NNP) to sign a joint bribery pledge which commits both parties not to bribe the electorate. In addition to that commitment, the pledge calls on the Police to open a hotline for allegations of voter bribery to be reported and calls on the NNP government to instruct the police to vigorously investigate reports of bribery”.
The NDC pledge reads as follows:
“We, the undersigned major political parties of Grenada – the National Democratic Congress and the New National Party – hereby pledge to not offer any bribes either monetary or in the form of goods – to the electorate of Grenada.
“We further both call upon the police to set up a hotline whereby reports of bribery can be submitted and we jointly call on the police to vigorously investigate reports of voter bribery so that all involved can be brought to justice. Grenada’s democracy is at stake and we both agree to protect it by rooting out voter bribery at its core.”
According to NDC, the party is prepared to sign this statement in a joint press conference with the NNP.
The NDC also announced a suspension of campaigning on Independence Day (February 7) and called for unity of all parties on the day.
The Congress statement went on: “It would be fantastic if the entire slate of NDC and NNP candidates could appear together at an event, where both Dr. Mitchell and I addressed the crowd,” noted NDC Leader Nazim Burke.
“Politics would be off limits; instead, we would stand together as one Grenada speaking to our history as a nation and our shared cultural history. The perfect event for this would be the National Independence Rally.
Let’s make this Independence Day one to remember!”
Burke concluded, “Let’s show that Grenada is united and ready to face the future. Let’s show Grenada what it means to put people – not politics – first. I hope to see Dr. Mitchell and his team on Independence Day.”