The Miami Herald
January 20, 1999
Grenada's premier promises to clean up corruption image

             ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada -- (AP) -- Prime Minister Keith Mitchell pledged
             Tuesday to clean up his image after sweeping to victory in an election that focused
             on corruption allegations leveled at his government.

             Mitchell's New National Party won all 15 parliamentary seats Monday in a
             stunning victory just seven weeks after his government collapsed amid lawmakers'
             defections to the rival Grenada United Labor Party.

             The win gave Mitchell a lock on Parliament despite charges of kickbacks,
             improper bidding practices and unauthorized loans during his administration.

             Mitchell called the allegations ``unfair and incorrect'' but conceded at a news
             conference Tuesday that they ``must have left some dent in the minds of the people
             and I have a responsibility to correct that.''

             Final results released Tuesday showed Mitchell's party got 25,850 votes for 62
             percent of the total. The opposition National Democratic Congress had 10,337
             votes, while an alliance led by the Grenada United Labor Party had 4,998 and the
             Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement had 252.

             Mitchell won in his own district with 90 percent of the vote. His challenger for
             prime minister, Joan Purcell of the National Democratic Congress, lost her district
             by 11 percent.

             On Tuesday, Mitchell said he saw the results as a second chance and promised
             more accountability.

             ``You can get very cocky and lose focus, and believe you're on top of the world
             and you can do what you want, and say what you want and get away with
             anything,'' Mitchell said.

             ``The responsibility now falls on us to be far more responsible than we have been,''
             he said.

             Stunned opposition leaders said the six-week campaign was too short.

             Since his election in June 1995, Mitchell has used tax breaks and aggressive
             salesmanship to attract foreign investment to the three-island nation, which has
             seen its strategic importance evaporate with the end of the Cold War.

             He sought new trade agreements with Cuba, whose influence in Grenada
             prompted a U.S.-led invasion in 1983. As chairman of the Caribbean Community
             trade group last year, he led international overtures to Cuban President Fidel


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