December 2, 1998
Grenada dissolves parliament ahead of elections

                  ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada (Reuters) -- The parliament of Grenada was
                  dissolved on Wednesday, paving the way for national elections within 90
                  days in the tiny Caribbean spice island invaded by the United States in 1983.

                  No date has been set for the new elections, which must be scheduled at least
                  21 days in advance of voting.

                  Grenada's ruling New National Party (NNP) was plunged into crisis last
                  week by the resignation of its Foreign Minister Raphael Fletcher, which left it
                  with a minority seven of parliament's 15 seats.

                  Grenada, a prodigious producer of nutmeg and an upscale tourist destination
                  at the southern end of the Caribbean Windward Islands chain, is home to
                  about 97,000 people.

                  It gained worldwide fame in October 1983 when the United States invaded
                  after a radical faction of its Cuba-backed Marxist government seized power,
                  killing Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and 15 followers.

                  Prime Minister Keith Mitchell told the nation late on Tuesday he had asked
                  Governor-General Sir Daniel Williams to dissolve parliament.

                  "He was to deliver the budget tomorrow and the opposition also was
                  intending to present a motion of no confidence," Mitchell's spokeswoman,
                  Nancy McGuire, said. "He made the decision to dissolve parliament."

                  The NNP won eight seats in the last elections in June 1995. The National
                  Democratic Congress held four, the Grenada United Labour Party two and
                  the Democratic Labour Party just one.

                  Former Health Minister Grace Duncan, who was dismissed and withdrew
                  support for the NNP last year, held her seat in parliament. Her party
                  affiliation was uncertain, McGuire said.

                   Copyright 1998 Reuters.