With the peak of the 2018 election campaign running throughout the religious Lenten Season, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and Political Leader of the ruling New National Party (NNP) announced on Sunday, that the party will be moving away from its traditional campaigning styles, in terms of entertainment, out of respect for Lent, which commenced worldwide on Wednesday.
In making the announcement on Sunday night as he addressed scores of Grenadians who flocked the Tempe Playing Field in St. George’s for an NNP Youth Rally, in which Jamaican reggae artist Romain Virgo, was the main entertaining act, Prime Minister Mitchell, who is described as a practicing Catholic by faith said, this decision comes in “recognition of the Christian community in the country and what its stands for.”
“… The Lenten Season starts next week Wednesday, so sisters and brothers, we will not be having any calypso activity in our national activities from next week but we will be having a lot of gospel music,” he told the gathering.
“So, enjoy yourselves now, because there will not be any more,” Dr Mitchell told the crowd, that was also entertained by some local acts.
Lent is a period set aside by the Christian traditional churches to engage in spiritual renewal and self-examination.
The Prime Minister told party supporters that the NNP platform will continue with its campaign theme song,
“We can’t sit down, ah can’t sit down” as it seeks to woo the electorate for another five years in office.
According to NNP campaign manager, Roland Bhola, there will not be a total ban on all calypsos, but only on songs with language that promotes unacceptable behaviour during the religious period.
“There are songs with words and language that are just not in keeping with the religious period and those we will not allow,” he said.
Bhola, the former Minister of Agriculture in the NNP regime confirmed that those calypso artistes who have produced work for the party’s 2018 election campaign will continue to provide entertainment in the upcoming rallies.
The NNP has been concentrating on a campaign platform dominated by dancing to the music of top local entertainers like Sheldon Douglas, Inspector and Talpree.
However, Chairman of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Vincent Roberts, has expressed the view, that the real issue is not the type of music played during the religious period but rather its content.
Expressing the NDCs view on the issue at the weekly press conference at Congress headquarters on Monday, Roberts said the party “condemn(s) the use of vulgarity and profanities in Calypso, not just during the period of Lent but at all times.”
He said that unlike Dr. Mitchell and the NNP, “we the NDC, shall be using the music of the people to communicate our message to promote our party and our candidates”.
The theme song in the NDC campaign is “NNP fraid Nazim” which is being performed by former calypso, soca and groovy monarch winner, Elwin “Black Wizard” Mc Quilkin.