Sunday’s annual convention of the ruling New National Party (NNP) will give some kind of a clue as to the thinking of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell on the date for the next general election.
The Prime Minister is expected to send a message to the party delegates, members and supporters to start thinking of the upcoming poll which he is confident of winning once again from the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
There are those who have a keen interest in seeing whether any significant changes will be made to the NNP Executive especially to the key positions of Deputy Political Leader and General Secretary in light of recent reports of “controlled” internal wrangling within the party.
THE NEW TODAY does not expect any drastic changes within the hierarchy of NNP as the Prime Minister would be keen on giving the impression that the House is sound and that he is fully in charge of the party.
It will be a major surprise to see former Congress General Secretary, Peter David being handed the position of Deputy political leader of NNP.
If David puts forward his name to contest the position then this newspaper expects a rival to be put up from the Floor to challenge him in order to keep him out of the top echelon of the ruling party.
PM Mitchell is a political fox and might be the unseen hand behind any manoeuvrings to place persons in key positions.
There is a love hate relationship existing between the former NDC General Secretary and many influential NNP supporters.
An activist for the NNP in St. David who defected to the Congress camp refers to David and those expelled NDC members who joined the ruling party in the aftermath of the 2013 general elections as persons who only joined the house to seek “political refuge” status.
This newspaper expects the Member of Parliament for Carriacou & Petite Martinique, the aging Elvin Nimrod to remain as Deputy Political Leader of the ruling party and to be its candidate in the upcoming general election.
Not only is Nimrod a trusted lieutenant of the Prime Minister but he has been able to win the seat on the two sister islands even when there is a swing on the mainland away from the NNP.
Dr. Mitchell believes in loyalty and is not one to gamble on the unknown. As a Mathematician and Statistician, he knows that the magical number for him to hold onto the job of Prime Minister is winning eight seats at least and Nimrod has been able to deliver the goods over the years.
The Peter David supporters should be concerned about his future because as things stand the Prime Minister who is known to call the “shots” has not signalled his intention to give him any one of the 15 seats to be contested at the poll.
There is another issue that will soon come to national attention surrounding the future of the current Attorney-General, Cajeton Hood.
THE NEW TODAY understands that his four year contract is coming up for review at the end of March and nothing positive has been communicated to him by the powers-that-be.
It is no secret that some influential persons within the NNP were not in support of the Prime Minister handing the top legal job in the country to Hood.
There has been no change to that position over the years and many would like to see the back of the current AG.
A few power houses in the ruling party have not been impressed with Hood’s performance as AG and believe that the government has been forced to spend too much money on bringing in outside legal counsel to handle matters that should have easily been dealt with by the Office of the Attorney-General.
A case in point is the many hefty legal briefs given to QC Tommy Astaphan from the Leeward Islands to handle matters such as the Rex Grenadian acquisition and the St. Lucian company that was able to get a female high court judge to give them the go ahead to levy on the Government’s purse for monies due to them.
The downgrading of Hood was quite noticeable when the task was given to Solicitor General, Dwight Horsford and not the AG to lead the arguments for the State in the motion filed by former AG, Jimmy Bristol in connection with the November 2016 referendum.
Both Hood and his brother, former NDC Health Minister, Karl Hood landed top jobs with the NNP days after the 2013 poll.
It is suspected that a deal was brokered in order to get Karl Hood to appear on the NNP platform in the last campaign that saw Congress trounced 15-0.
The government has not renewed Karl Hood’s contract as High Commissioner to London amidst reports of growing strained relations between the two.
It will not surprise this newspaper that AG Hood’s contract will not be renewed by PM Mitchell and the NNP government and the country might soon have a new person at the helm in leading the legal work on behalf of the State.