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
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
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
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
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
``You can get very cocky and lose focus, and believe you're on top of the
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
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
Copyright © 1999 The Miami Herald