GRENADA

Ruling party refutes claims of "bussing" in voters

February 26, 2018

The ruling New National Party (NNP) has dismissed allegations that it is engaged in chartering at least three aircraft to bring people from the United States to vote in the March 13 general election.

“This is absolutely untrue, we have not chartered any flight or flights. What I can say is that there are Grenadians who are registered as electors that are presently in different parts of the diaspora who are 

Bhola also admitted that the NNP, which is seeking to regain office in the poll, has support groups in New York, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nazim Burke, over the last weekend warned of possible electoral in the elections, saying that he had been reliably informed that persons were being brought here from the United States to cast ballots.

Over 40 candidates to contest general election

February 21, 2018

Forty-five political candidates have been nominated to contest the March 13 general election announced by Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell.

The majority of the candidates will represent Mitchell's ruling New National Party (NNP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). The other candidates are from five minority parties and there are four independent candidates.

Tuesday’s Nomination Day exercise marks the first time since the 1984 general election that the minority Good Ole Democracy (GOD) will not be contesting the poll as the sole candidate was unable to gather the six registered voters required to sign his nomination form.

“That is not the end of me and my political career because Grenadians will still like to see me as Prime Minister of this country,” said GOD leader Justin “Crow” McBurnie. He was only able to gather three of six registered voters to sign his nomination form.

Derick Sealey who heads the newly formed minority Grenada Christian Political Party also announced that he will not be entering the race as planned, due to the lack of candidates.

Clamp down on mobile phone use when driving

February 07, 2018

The Grenada police says it will be enforcing regulations that allowed for drivers to pay fines of up to EC$5,000 if they are caught using a mobile devise while driving.

Head of the Traffic Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force Linford Kingston said motorists could have an option of paying EC$150 for a ticket instead of going to court where the maximum fine is EC$5000.

“Failure to pay the ticket within 31 days will result in the matter going to the magistrate court where the penalty will be fines and jail time,” said Kingston, noting that the amendment to the Road Traffic Regulations was approved in both Houses of Parliament last year and came into effect on February 1.

The law also provides for a breathalyser test to be administered to drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Fraudulent banker sentenced to 23 years in prison

December 22, 2016

A High Court judge has sentenced a former banker to 23 years in jail after he was found guilty of engaging in fraudulent activities. 

Finton DeBourg, the founder of Capital Bank International, was also told Tuesday he would have to serve a further three years imprisonment if he fails to pay more than EC$16 million within five years after he is released.

The High Court has also barred the former banker from engaging in any financial business operations after serving his jail term.

Debourg, 66, was charged with two counts of fraudulent appropriation of property; one count of falsification of account; and two counts of falsification of minutes.

In February 2008, all 12 branches of the bank were taken over by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) after the Court ordered that Capital Bank International be placed into receivership.

Hundreds of customers had complained that they were unable to withdraw their deposits from the bank, which was owned and operated by DeBourg.  Capital Bank received a licence from the Grenada government, but was not regulated by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

Government denies signing secret oil agreement

December 23, 2016

The Grenada Government has denied signing a secret legal agreement that will allow for a British-based oil and gas exploration company to get involved in the exploration and development of hydrocarbons in a subterranean area adjoining the maritime boundary with Trinidad and Tobago.

Political leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nazim Burke, said the Keith Mitchell administration had “secretly” signed the agreement with “MX Oil PLC without telling anyone”.

Burke described the oil and gas sector here as the last economic frontier for the island and called on the government to make public any agreement signed to develop the sector.

But in a statement the government said that the signing of the MOU with MX Oil PLC does not guarantee that the company will be successful in securing a production sharing agreement and that the company will update the market in due course in the event of any significant development.

Grenadians reject Constitutional changes and CCJ

November 25, 2016

Grenadians Thursday voted overwhelmingly to reject seven pieces of legislation that would have reformed the Constitution the island received when it attained political independence from Britain 42 years ago.

 

“The people have spoken in a referendum…and I have accepted it…and we have to learn from the process…because it has never been tried before and I think this is what we have to understand,” Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said.

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in a statement said it would hold “an extra ordinary press conference” on Friday.

The referendum had originally been scheduled for October 27, but was postponed for a month to allow for more public education and stakeholder consultation.

But by a vast majority, the voters turned their backs on plans to replace the London-based Privy Council with the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice as the island’s final court, as well as rejecting term limits for the prime minister and the appointment of a leader of the opposition in Parliament.

In addition, they also rejected moves to change the name of the tri-island state and plans to establish an independent electoral commission.

Prime Minister Mitchell, speaking on television here said he was disappointed at the low voter turnout and that people who were rejoicing at the results were doing so “because they chose to play games with the future of this country”.

Mitchell said that the bill before the voters had nothing to do with him personally and defended also the decision of his administration not to campaign openly for a “Yes” vote.

Grenadians to vote on Constitutional Reform

October 19, 2016

On October 27th 2016, Grenadians would be going to the polls for the first time ever to vote in its Constitutional Referendum. Seven (7) Bills would be up for approval or disapproval by the Grenadian public. These bills are listed in the order in which they would appear on the ballot.

They are as follows:

  1. Caribbean Court Of Justice and Other Justice-Related Matters

  2. Elections and Boundaries Commission

  3. Ensuring the Appointment of Leader Of The Opposition

  4. Fixed Date for Elections

  5. Name Of State

  6. Rights and Freedoms

  7. Term Of Office Of Prime Minister

Grenada Parliament votes for CCJ

June 21, 2016

The Grenada Parliament yesterday approved legislation for the island to replace the London-based privy Council with the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice as its final court of appeal.

However, before Grenada can join Barbados, Dominica, Belize and Guyana that have already made the CCJ their final court, the issue will have to go before its citizens in a referendum, the date for which has not yet been announced. However, it is most likely to be held by December this year.

The ruling New National party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, which controls all 13 seats in the Parliament, passed the CCJ Bill, which is one of eight pieces of legislation now before legislators for second and third readings.

The bills are part of the efforts to reform the island’s Constitution hat it received when it attained political independence from Britain in 1974.

Economic citizen charged with stealing investments

June 12, 2016

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  have announced fraud charges and an asset freeze against an economic citizen of Grenada and his wife accused of misusing two-thirds of the money they raised from investors for the purpose of building and operating a new cancer treatment centre. 

Charles C. Liu and Xin “Lisa” Wang raised $27 million for the proton therapy cancer treatment centre from 50 investors in China through the EB-5 immigrant investor programme.

The pair claimed hat the project would create more than 4,500 new jobs and have a substantial impact on the local economy while giving foreign investors an opportunity for future US residency. However, there is no construction at the proposed site after more than 18 months of collecting investments. 

Liu meanwhile has transferred $11 million in investor funds to three firms in China and diverted another $7 million to his and his wife’s personal accounts.

In granting the SEC’s request to freeze the assets and accounts of Liu, Wang, and related entities, the court’s order prohibits them from raising further money from investors or spending remaining funds.

Grenada wins gold at Chelsea Flower Show

May 24, 2016

The Grenada exhibit at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show 2016, named “Three Enchanting Islands - Pure Grenada”, has won gold. The show team was led by Grenadian-based designer Catherine John and brought Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique to life with a display of floral diversity.

"Our theme this year was inspired by the distinct floral character of the three islands, which although in close proximity of each other in the Southern Caribbean Sea, do not receive the same amount of rainfall. The vegetation and crops grown on Carriacou and Petite Martinique are markedly different from those that thrive in Grenada," said John. The greenery and spices were all grown in Grenada and arranged to John's design, ahead of Monday when the display enthralled press day visitors including Grenada’s high commissioner, Karl Hood, and Dr Johnson Beharry VC – recipient of the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, who was born in Grenada.

"As small islands we are mindful of rising sea levels due to climate change, and our display features the coastline as a reminder of the balance of nature that we all depend upon," added John. 

The display won a gold medal, making this the twelfth gold medal Grenada has received at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 

Government issues new ruling on drones

April 11, 2016

The Grenada government has warned drone users that permission is needed from the police before any Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is allowed into the air.

 

“Cabinet has decided that persons who wish to operate a UAV should apply to the police stating the reason,” Planning Minister Oliver Joseph told reporters.

 

Joseph said that at present Grenada has no policy with regards to the operations of drones and is collaborating with the Antigua-based Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) to develop a policy for the future use of drones.

 

He said that in the absence of an official policy the police will decide who receives permission for using drones in Grenada’s airspace.

 

Barbados recently announced a ban on using drones in its airspace until legislation and or a policy is enacted and enforced.

Mitchell praises Windies victories

April 04, 2016

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has praised the twin triumph by the West Indies men’s and women’s teams at the Twenty20 World Cup in India, and has pledged Caricom’s continued commitment to improvingthe standard of governance in the sport regionally.

 

Mitchell, who chairs CARICOM’s subcommittee on cricket governance, said despite the “daunting adversities on and off the field”, both teams had maintained their focus and displayed the skill and composure to pull off “the most memorable victories in West Indies cricketing history, and indeed the most memorable in recent times”.

 

“It is with exhilarating pride that I extend the heartiest congratulations, on behalf of the government and people of Grenada, as well as all the CARICOM prime ministers, to our region’s cricketers,” Mitchell said in a statement. 

 

 

IMF concludes review of Grenada

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a concluding statement following the 2016 Article IV consultation visit and fourth review under the extended credit facility (ECF) extended to Grenada.

Since the last Article IV consultation in June 2014, the country has made major strides toward restoring fiscal and external sustainability. Economic activity has picked up, debt has been reduced, and the balance of payments position has strengthened. The government has also pushed through important legislative reforms to build a fiscal framework that will lock-in fiscal discipline over the long term. 

 

As the country heads into the last year of its ECF-supported program, renewed policy resolve will be essential to secure lasting success of the home-grown program and broaden the reach of its benefits. 

EU to fund domestic violence project

The European Union is providing 400,000 euros to implement a new project on preventing domestic violence in the Caribbean.

 

The funds have been awarded to a team of Caribbean and European experts, headed by Professor Adele Jones from the University of Huddersfield, in partnership with The Sweet Water Foundation of Grenada.

 

The experts said that data will be used to develop interactive, role-playing computer games designed to empower victims and change attitudes that have been linked to aggressive and violent behaviours.

 

It is often claimed that computer games encourage violence, therefore the idea is to create computer games that can be used in schools to reduce negative attitudes developed in childhood and which can fuel domestic violence in later relationships.

 

The two year project, titled “None-in-Three” has been derived from the finding that one in three women and girls experience violence in their lives.

 

“That’s a fairly global statistic but domestic violence is identified as being particularly entrenched in the Caribbean,” said Jones.

The None-in-Three project will be implemented in Barbados and Grenada and will be launched on March 8 to coincide with celebrations marking International Women’s Day.

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