Damned if you do…

We heard that Mia Mottley was on the radio this morning querying why the announcement of the general election was issued through BGIS; and that it was the first time it had happened. She went on to say that it was a reflection of the Prime Minister’s inability to talk to the people. What nonsense!

Well, here are some facts in relation to the announcement of two general elections.

We vividly recall BGIS issuing a press release announcing the 1991 general elections. It was hand-delivered by BGIS staff a Saturday afternoon to the five media houses: CANA, VOB, CBC, The Nation and The Advocate.

In 1994, GIS also issued the official statement of the pending general election. We remember the CBC newsroom enquiring, after they got the press release, how they could get hold of the then Deputy Prime Minister Philip Greaves, for a comment on the elections.

They eventually caught up with Greaves at the beach. CBC interviewed him coming out of the sea, in swim trunks, and he said he was unaware of the announcement. He said Sandiford had not taken him into his confidence. This is gospel. Ask Sir Philip Greaves.

We do not know if Sandiford made announcements elsewhere, but the initial ones for the 1991 and 1994 elections were issued by BGIS. Mottley’s comments are totally inaccurate.

She should also tell us how the date for the St. John by-election was officially announced.

Owen Arthur is also reported to have said that Stuart should have made the announcement on the floor of the House of Assembly yesterday. Well, he would have missed it because he is usually a no-show. But, this is important. When he was Prime Minister, he never announced a general election on the floor of the House.

So, there is precedent for the announcement of a general election via BGIS.

We really don’t know what all the hullabaloo is about. They were calling for an election date, now one is announced, the modus operandi is the issue. It is as though you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

— Peter Gilkes

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