Following the recent resignation of the director responsible for the National Queen Show on the Board of the Spicemas Corporation (SMC), the New National Party (NNP) issued a statement pointing to political interference as the reason for her resignation.
“This unfortunate incident highlights political interference’s grave dangers in our beloved nation. We, the New National Party, stand firmly against any such meddling by the ruling party in our national events, as it undermines our integrity and impartiality,” the opposition NNP stated.
The political party referred to the National Queen Show as a celebrated cultural spectacle showcasing Grenadian women’s grace, talent, and beauty and said that it has been tarnished by the shadows of political maneuvering.
In its statement on the resignation of the Director, NNP said that serves as a stark reminder that this [NDC] government’s actions do not always consider the interests of our people, in this case, the preservation of our rich cultural heritage.
“We firmly believe that national events, free from political influence, should serve as a unifying force that brings all Grenadians together. Unfortunately, this incident exposes the ruling party’s disregard for our traditions’ sanctity and willingness to exploit such events for their own political gain.” Which the statement says the NNP condemns.
In dealing with the issue, the Minister for Culture Hon Ron Redhead explained in the media that his intervention which was done via email when he returned from Canada was simply a follow-up for accountability. “And that’s all I will say for now because I intend to deal with it in Parliament. There were individuals involved in Queen Show for months, I did not interfere because it was a build-up but certainly as we progress to the event, proper systems of accountability must in place.”
The Minister said that the government must account for whatever resources spent and explained the process of accountability. “The chairman is accountable to the board, the board is accountable to the minister, the minister is accountable to cabinet and parliament. So far since we came [into power] the audited financial statements of SMC is now up to date.”
In promising to expose the figures in Parliament, Hon Redhead said: “So people can get to see the income and the expenditure and it will help guide how we invest in Spicemas because we’re desperate with our investments. … So it was just along those lines and if I have to make the email public, I will do so but no one can produce a letter so all the statements being made are totally false and are only coming from one section of the population I must say and they are unable to produce anything in writing. They can quote me on that.”
In expressing his opinion, he said: “I don’t want to support going down a rabbit hole with negativity because that is what it is. It was just to distract the contestants from taking part. My position as the minister is the show is going on. The board is doing a wonderful job in preparing the queen show even while he has not seen a resignation letter from the chairman.”
The National Queen Show will be held Sunday August 06 at the National Stadium from 8pm.
The contestants are Miss St Andrew – Anika John, Miss St. Mark – Aingel Augustine, Miss St. John – Shaquera Taylor, Miss Carriacou & Petit Martinique – Brianna Primus, Miss St. George – Dèja Bernard, Miss St. David – Amonai Francis and Miss St. Patrick – Taningka Charles.