Following their comfortable victory at the polls on Thursday, attorney-at-law Dicken Mitchell was sworn as Grenada’s ninth Prime Minister, during a short ceremony at the Grenada Trade Centre on Friday, presided over by Her Excellency Dame Cecile La Grenade, Governor-General.
The ceremony, which brought together scores of supporters of the National Democratic Congress, (NDC) members of the Diplomatic Community, family, friends and well-wishers were highlighted by the taking of the oath of office, and a call for unity and an end to what was referred to as party politics (Nepotism).
In his inaugural speech as prime minister, hours after his party defeated the incumbent Keith Mitchell-led New National Party, 9 seats to 6 in a keenly contested general election, Michell said now that the boxing match (campaign) is over, it is now time to get down to the country’s business.
Taking the time to thank all, including the Highest, who contributed in one way or another to his party’s victory at the polls, Mitchell said that he takes solace in the fact that his team and the work put in, were responsible for his victory, accepting the role as prime minister simply means going to work on the behalf of all the citizens of Grenada. He assured Grenadians that the same energy he brought to bear in his professional field as a lawyer, would be brought to bear in his function as prime minister.
In moving forward, Mitchell said, while he commends the work put in by the Parliamentary Elections Office and the Supervisor of Election, he is of the view, that top of his government’s priority of business, would be a reformation of the electoral process to ensure effective functioning of that office. The system he said must encourage our citizens to vote, rather than discourage them, and this is said must be addressed immediately as a means of strengthening the country’s democratic process for generations to come.
In rehashing the premises of the just concluded election campaign, Mitchel noted that the many challenges highlighted during the four weeks are real, and must be faced as a united team. He assured all that his team would lead by example, governing on behalf of all the citizens, via a citizen-first approach to governance.
The new prime minister noted that while his team would be forced to make tough decisions going forward, he assured all that whatever decision is taken, would be done after consultation and explanation for the decision taken.
As it relates to working with members of the opposition, Mitchell said, having spoken to the former prime minister Dr Keith Mitchell on Friday, they both agreed to work together in the interest of the country and put people first. He also assured other members of the opposition that they too, would be embraced when it comes to working on behalf of the people who elected them to serve as members of parliament.
As it relates to the supporters of the NNP, Mitchell reminded them that the rivalry is over, and we all are citizens of Grenada and therefore acting that way, and working together to build the country should take top priority.
Looking at the structuring of his team to govern the country, Mitchell said, while he cannot promise there would be no changes, whatever decision is taken at all levels, police, nurses, doctors, cooks, sanitation workers etc. would be driven solely on merit, hard work the desire to find solutions and not party loyalty.