|PM Tillman Thomas of Grenada|
In a brief radio and television address, Thomas did not name the date for the general election that was constitutionally due by October this year.
"I wish to advise that today I advised his Excellency the Governor General to dissolve the Parliament of Grenada. This act paves the way for the setting of an election date within the next 90 days," Thomas told citizens.
He said he would be announcing the election date “shortly” in order to give all nationals who are eligible to vote an opportunity to be registered.
“All such persons who are yet to register are urged to do so now,” he said.
Thomas said that said since July 2012, the Parliament “has been customarily prorogued” and that “along the same time there were a few resignations from government and many were pondering the government’s options given the prevailing circumstances and the election time frame our country is in.”
He said in order to “responsibly and effectively hold a free and fair general election, the election machinery must be in place and ready to facilitate it and conduct such.
“Given the need to ensure that all Grenadians 18 years and over who are registered to vote to exercise their hard earned franchise and against the background of a new voter registration system my government’s focus was on ensuring that the new system was properly put in place”.
He told Grenadians that if an election had been called before the new voter registration system had been put in place, the old system with its many problems would have had to be used.
“As a result the isolated calls for an early election before the new system was put in place were in my view irresponsible, self serving and not in the best interest of all Grenadians."
Thomas said that every national must be given an opportunity to “participate in a free and fair process of choosing a government” adding “in my view much progress has been made with our electoral preparation”.
He said many people had responded to the calls to ensure that they were registered to vote adding “this has contributed significantly to our state of readiness".
Prime Minister Thomas led his NDC to an 11-4 victory in the 2008 general election, but has since seen the strength of the party dwindle in the Parliament as government ministers have either been fired or tendered their resignation.
On Sunday, the NDC will hold its first public rally for 2013 at the Sauteurs Bus Terminal in St Patrick, while the main opposition New National Party (NNP) will be meeting in St David, south east of the island. There is mounting speculation that Prime Minister Thomas will use Sunday’s NDC rally to announce the date for the election
“We will be presenting candidates for all 15 constituencies,” NDC general secretary Bernard Isaac said.
During a radio and television broadcast on Tuesday night, NNP leader and former prime minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said 2013 promises to be a “defining moment in our history".
He added, “It is a historic opportunity, if seized properly that can lay the foundation of a long overdue Grenadian renaissance. Our nation stands at the cross roads, where our collective decisions will determine whether we either slip further, or we halt the slide and return to building on the gains of the last two decades,” he added.
There is mounting speculation that Prime Minister Thomas will use Sunday’s NDC rally to announce the date for the election.