Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has said that his ruling New National Party (NNP) is posed to easily win Tuesday’s general election in the wake of attacks from the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on him bringing in crooks in the country and imposing high taxes on the people.
Speaking to reporters at his final press conference before the poll, Dr. Mitchell said that the utterances by Congress on these issues have given the NNP the edge and will cost his opponents the election.
“The language I’m hearing today, we bring crooks and so on, that was the story in 2008 that won them the election, that was the story in 2013 which lost them the election – they coming with that again, bring it on. I’m sure the people know better, we have no crooks”, he said.
Prime Minister Mitchell has been dogged throughout his political career with dealings with a host of questionable foreigners including the likes of Van Brink, imprisoned fraudster Eric Resteiner, Viktor Kozeny (The Pirate of Prague), and E.J Miller of Mt. Hartman in the south of the island.
According to Dr. Mitchell, the talk about crooks has become stale as there is not a government that has not had bad dealings with an individual before and NDC is no exception.
“We had Seo Wang here, was coming here (under NDC), they arrested them after the government signed (Memorandum of Understanding) and the Minister of Finance (Nazim Burke) then was blaming the Prime Minister (Tillman Thomas) for taking those crooks into Grenada under NDC and I could give you a lot more examples but I never got on the radio and say NDC bringing crooks…”, he said.
“Tell me a country where you could have a government in operation and that government hasn’t gotten into bed with any person, one person who turned out to be a problem”, he added.
“…If I want to be effective against an opponent, I will say what sounds true to people and hit them in the areas where they have doubts but to say to people where you know it is not true, people do not believe it, I think you’re losing the game. I love it, to tell you the truth, bring it on talk about crooks, bring it on and say nothing happening in the country”, he said.
With regards to high taxes in the country, PM Mitchell stated that this has always been an election topic over the years.
“Since I was a little boy, every election, two things you’re always hearing…too much taxes, every election, you hear that, too much taxes and health care system is bad and you’re hearing it all over the world, you hear it in America today.”
“My friend, the country has made tremendous progress with all of the sacrifices we have asked people to make and I have made it clear, we will progressively reduce some of them as income increase and with economic activity increasing in the country I expect we’ll see but I will not sit here and make a commitment to increase things by three and four hundred dollars for people just like that without a proviso.
“If the fiscal situation affords it, yes, but I wouldn’t sit here and say drop the oil price from what it is now to ten, nine dollars a gallon. I wouldn’t make a commitment as this because it would be highly irresponsible of me.
Dr. Mitchell has been constantly attacked for promising to make life easier for Grenadians to win the 2013 poll and within months of getting into office increasing taxes as part of a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).
Dr. Mitchell also attacked NDC over the promises made to the electorate on the campaign platforms, describing them as questionable since it is unclear where the money will come from to make good on those promises.
“The question is – you have to ask yourself, anyone that tells you this, making all the promises they make, pay one-off immediately and so on, pay this, pay that, give this, tell me when you do those things you’re doing, where you getting the money?”
“Are you going to take it from your pocket to give to the people as persons who have failed to bring economic activity in the country, who have taken vindictive actions against investors when they came in, who almost every investor is afraid of.”
“The NDC’s track record unlike 2008 when people did not know them is so poor that most businessmen and I can tell you this because I have been in the politics longer than them, are afraid of the present NDC leadership.
“This has been the easiest period for the NNP to raise money locally for campaign, even when we do not call people, they call us and say … we wanna protect our jobs, we wanna protect our business, so we need you there.”
Prime Minister Mitchell stopped short of predicting the number of seats that NNP will win the election by on Tuesday.