GRENADA ELECTION: Grenada PM denies suppressing media leading up to election, remains confident of victory
By Youri Kemp
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada — The New National Party (NNP) leader, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, has denied allegations that members of his party tried to shut down media houses, particularly those in opposition to him, in the run up to the Grenada general election scheduled for Tuesday.
Reported by Caribbean Newsline, at a press conference held by Mitchell, he stated that he would be a “foolish politician” if he were to do such a thing as muzzle the media and cites “political gerrymandering” by the opposition.
The Caribbean Newsline report also said that the Grenadian National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) responded to a complaint of radio stations transmitting well above their frequency in and around the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).
This, as claimed, caused the NTRC to put a stop on certain communications in order to “search for signals” and evaluate the cause of the disturbance and then have systems back to normal.
Other reports on the ground suggested that unidentified vandals severed copper wire lines from the radio transmitter of Fresh FM, a station that has been critical of the NNP and Mitchell’s administration.
Chime FM was also taked off-air by the (NTRC) for a few days as a result of the matters related to the station possibly causing interference at the MBIA.
Both Chime FM and Fresh FM are back on air and have been streaming content to listeners as of March 10.
Mitchell, in the same press conference, nonetheless expressed great confidence in a win for the NNP on March 13. He cited information provided to him that indicates that his party was set to be re-elected by all sectors of Grenadian social classes regardless of what the portion of the population the opposition is garnering.
Advance polling was held for armed services personnel on Friday. Turnout was high, observers noted.
The Organisation of American States (OAS) has sent a mission to observe the elections, headed by assistant secretary general, Nestor Mendez. They also observed the advance poll on March 9.
An electoral observation mission from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has also been deployed.
Still no word from the US State Department as to whether or not the US embassy in Bridgetown had requested that its accredited diplomats be allowed to “observe” the elections in Grenada as it has done in relation to the forthcoming general elections in Antigua and Barbuda.
Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell. Caribbean Newsline