Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell holds emergency session to tackle economy - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell holds emergency session to tackle economy

Shortly after taking the oath of office Prime Minister-elect Keith Claudius Mitchell wasted no time Tuesday and called an emergency session to address economic conditions that have hit Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

In addressing the packed audience at the GrenadaTrade Centre in Grand Anse, Mitchell said he is humbled and grateful for the opportunity given.

“We will be eternally inspired, not just by the votes but for placing your dreams and aspirations in our hands,” Mitchell said.

Keith Mitchell is sworn in as the new Prime Minister for

Governor General Sir Carlyle Glean swears in Keith Mitchell as Prime Minister for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. (Mikey Hutchinson)

Mitchell and his team was handed an overwhelming mandate by the people of the Spice Isle mainly because of high unemployment and a stagnant economy. Acknowledging this, Mitchell  said the people had seen enough pain and disappointment, but quickly implored the people to accept that his government cannot wave a magic wand.

“We are not magicians, we cannot walk on water”, though he is happy the country believed in his leadership and in his promise to deliver.

Fixing his eyes on his winning team, he beseeched them – “we must not let the people down.”

His first order of business was to meet with executive staff members of the Finance Ministry to discuss the state of the economy.

He promised to work at coming up with an appropriate budget to meet immediate demands, such as paying public servants salaries at the end of this month.  A feat the Thomas lead Administration struggled to accomplish as a cash-strapped Grenada had difficulty paying civil servants wages under the former Prime Minister’s leadership.

Mitchell cautioned his team against wastage of the country’s limited resources, saying he wanted every dollar better distributed socially.  Setting an example, he vowed to have a smaller cabinet than the previous (NDC) Government. He then issued a stern warning to the MPs-elect to not bicker about not being chosen to be part of the cabinet. Mitchell explained that this is necessary to bring the right synergies together to tackle the economic hardship that placed the country in a straight-jacket.

Knowing the most daunting task is to lead Grenada out of its dark economic path, Mitchell assured the people that he is up for “the grand bargain,” which will see the economy being expanded, rising employment, a politics of inclusion – embracing every one and every idea to help take Grenada forward in an assigned project called “Project Grenada,”  which every citizen is a shareholder and must contribute.

Mitchell meets with supporters after speaking to a packed house at Grenada's Trade Centre.

Mitchell meets with supporters after speaking to a packed house at Grenada’s Trade Centre.

“No harassing of opponents, we do not care about political labels, just do the people work”, Mitchell implored to the audience, and even decided to look at the manifestos of other political parties to utilize the ideas that are good for taking the country forward.

“It was a long and tough campaign; as you can see, winning was easy, governing will be difficult; but if we unite our collective human capital, we can do anything,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell warned his executive members against becoming arrogant, reminding them that the same people that voted them in Government will vote them out.

“There will be no witch-hunting of public servants” Mitchell said, signaling his intent to work with everyone and demonstrating that he is the Prime Minister for all of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Prime Minister Mitchell declared two weekend days of national prayer for the country.

He appealed to the churches to organize on Saturday Feb.23, when Seventh Day Adventists and other religious organizations keep the Sabbath, and for Sunday Feb. 24 for all other religions to pray for Grenada.

The position is not new to Mitchell who governed Grenada between 1995 – 2008 and has been the tri-island state’s longest serving Prime Minister. The 67-year-old career politician, who aspired to stay at the helm for two decades, lost the 2008 elections to the now defeated Tillman Thomas and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Mitchell, who was congratulated by the Governor General on his historic resounding victory, is the second Prime Minister in the Caribbean region to win all the seats in a general election and the first to have done it on two occasions. The first time he won all the seats was in 1999. This is his fourth term as Prime Minister of Grenada.

 (Feature photo by Mikey Hutchinson)

 

 


About the author

Marcia Braveboy

Marcia Braveboy is a journalist from Grenada based in Trinidad and Tobago. She has over 20 years experience in media; mainly in copy writing, news and broadcast journalism. Braveboy was a senior reporter at Power 102 FM radio, CNC3 television and producer of the investigative Frontline program on CCN’s i95.5 FM talk-radio station. You can follow Marcia on Twitter: @mbraveboy Contact the author.
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