Above: Grenada (CJ Photo)
By Alexander Britell
Grenada Prime Minister Tillman Thomas advised the country’s Governor General to dissolve Parliament Wednesday, paving the way for new elections, he announced in a national address Wednesday.
Parliament had been prorogued since the summer. Thomas said an election date will be set in the country within 90 days.
The move comes after a year of political turmoil for Thomas’ ruling National Democratic Congress, including three high-profile resignations of Cabinet Ministers since April, led by Foreign Minister Karl Hood.
A new party also formed in the interim, led by one of the Ministers who resigned, former Environment Minister Glynis Roberts.
Thomas mentioned the resignations in his address, saying that “many were pondering the government’s options, given the prevailing circumstances and the electoral time frame that our country is in.”
He said the decision to wait until now to dissolve Parliament and pave the way for elections was a bid to allow voters to register, as once a date is officially set, voter registration ceases immediately.
Thomas said that Grenada had been dealing with an electoral system that needed to be improved, including one with faulty equipment.
“As a result, the isolated calls for an early election before the completion of the new system, in my view, was irresponsible, self-serving and not in the best interest of all Grenadians,” he said. “Every Grenadian needs to be given an opportunity to participate in a free and fair process of choosing a government.”
The Prime Minister, whose National Democratic Congress will face off against the New National Party led by Dr Keith Mitchell and the upstart National United Front, led by the aforementioned Roberts.