Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nazim Burke has warned that it is against the law for anyone who is not a resident of Grenada to partake in the upcoming elections.
His advice came against the backdrop of widespread reports in the country that the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell was allegedly bringing in Grenadians living in the US to vote on March 13.
Addressing thousands of party supporters at a rally in St. Patrick on Sunday night, Burke said that Congress has been receiving reports in the last few weeks about very detailed plans about the NNP intention to bring three chartered planes containing persons “who are coming here supposedly to vote in the upcoming elections”.
He said: “These persons, sisters and brothers are coming primarily from the United States. We have already heard sisters and brothers that some of them are here and are living in a hotel down in Lance Aux Epines”.
According to Burke, this act by the NNP is against the Representation of the People’s Law which makes it clear that the only persons who are qualified to vote in Grenada are people who are ordinarily resident to vote in one of the 15 constituencies.
“If you’re living in America and you’re ordinarily living in America, you have no right to come and vote in the upcoming elections. And so, if Dr. Mitchell give you a ticket or if NNP gives you a ticket, if they give anybody a ticket to come down and vote, I wanna say to you, take the ticket, don’t say no, take the ticket and come to Grenada, come and see your family, come and enjoy the beach, come and swim, come and enjoy yourself, come and eat some good oil down but don’t participate in no election because we don’t want our people to get into trouble and do not allow anybody to lead you into any (illegal) actions…”, he said.
“Our law makes it clear under section 26 of the Representation of the People’s Law makes it absolutely clear it is a crime to make a false statement and to tell someone you qualified to vote and you not qualified to vote.
Don’t let anybody suck you into any kind of confusion, don’t let anybody lead you astray, we say to you take the ticket, take the free ride but don’t participate in any elections,” he added.
Burke told party supporters that Congress decided to give the advice to Grenadians living abroad in an effort to ensure that the March 13 election was free and fair.
“As we said before, this election must not be about people coming on the day of the election and telling us what’s going on. They must watch the election, they must observe everything that’s going on, we must know that the election is free and fair. They can go to Haiti and any other country if they want, as long as the election is free and fair, we will deal with them on Election Day sisters and brothers….”, he said.
Reference to Haiti is related to widespread reports about the visit paid to Haiti on Monday by Prime Minister Mitchell to hand over the Chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to the President of Haiti.
The Social Media was rife with the allegation that the Grenadian leader travelled to Haiti to woo the voodoo Gods to help his party win the election.
Burke told supporters that NDC is not afraid of a free and fair election but all that it wants to see “is that the election must be fair”.
“You see sisters and brothers, they believe that they can win the election by tearing down all of our posters all across the country. They have been destroying all of our posters…we say to them this: You can destroy all the posters that you want, I want to remind you of this, you might break the legs of your opponent, you might break the leg of your competitor but that does not make you run any faster. You may slow him down but that doesn’t make you any faster, so you could destroy all our posters, we will still take this election on Election Day”, he said.
Congress is said to be optimistic of its chances at the polls following an upsurge in support within the last two weeks with significant persons attending its rallies in St. David and St. Patrick.