September 30, 2023

Grenada elects a left-wing government |  America 21

Grenada elects a left-wing government | America 21

St. George. Deacon Mitchell is the new Prime Minister of Grenada. In parliamentary elections in June, his centre-left party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was clearly victorious over the conservative New National Party (NNP), which had previously ruled. With 51.84 percent of the vote, the Democratic National Convention won nine of the 15 seats in the House of Representatives, the lower house of Grenada’s bicameral parliament.

Attorney Deacon Mitchell, 44, was sworn in as prime minister by Grenada’s Governor General Cecil La Grenade on June 24. As a newcomer to politics, he defeated incumbent Governor Keith Mitchell, who was running for his sixth term as prime minister. Because of the Grenada system, Mitchell’s conservative party has won 15 seats in the House of Representatives in the last two general elections.

Therefore, in his victory speech, the election winner Mitchell said that voters “liberated Grenada” and asked Governor General Cecil La Grenada to declare June 24 a public holiday. Parliamentary elections were not supposed to take place until 2023. However, after constant criticism, the conservative government moved the elections forward. Pension cuts, the NDP’s total control of state institutions, and allegations of corruption turned public opinion against the government.

The Organization of American States (OAS) Election Observation Mission endorsed free and fair elections notwithstanding minor criticism. Several Caribbean and Latin American nations have congratulated the new prime minister, including Barbados, Belize, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel declared that Cuba “has the will to continue working for the development of friendly relations and cooperation between Grenada and Cuba for the benefit of the two peoples.”

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Grenada is a Caribbean island country in the Lesser Antilles, north of Venezuela and southeast of Puerto Rico. The main economic sectors are tourism and spice production. The former British colony is a constitutional monarchy and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Head of State Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The island nation, now with a population of about 113,000, gained international fame through the military invasion of the United States in 1983. Under the pretext of wanting to ensure the safety of American citizens, the then-left government of Ronald Reagan was overthrown by the United States government. The process has been supported by some Eastern Caribbean countries. US allies such as Canada and Great Britain as well as the United Nations General Assembly have criticized this approach.