Political Leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Tillman Thomas says that taxpayers did not pay for his May rally.
“The rally was not funded in part or in whole by the Government of Grenada”, he said in response to a question on the Order Paper put forward by Opposition member Elvin Nimrod during the last sitting of the House of Representatives last week Tuesday.
Prime Minister Thomas held a major public meeting at the Grenville Car Park on May 20 after his four-year old government managed to survive a no-confidence motion brought by Opposition Leader, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The Congress leader in his capacity as prime minister announced the rally in his address to the nation in May, in which he invited the nation to attend and to give thanks.
“As an act of appreciation for the fervent prayers and expressions of support for the government especially in the past two weeks, I, in my capacity as Prime Minister, will be holding a national thanksgiving rally at the Grenville Car Park on Sunday 20 May from 3:00 PM. The entire nation is invited to join us in giving thanks and acknowledging our gratitude. I thank you”, he concluded his address.
Controversy surrounded the rally shortly after the PM’s announcement as a group of rebel within the NDC Executive disclosed that they were informed about the event during a party meeting.
The rebels were at pains in pointing out that the meeting had nothing to do with the NDC.
The question of payment for the rally surfaced after allegations that the bill was being paid by taxpayers.
However Finance Minister Nazim Burke dismissed this as false adding that the rally was paid for by private people sympathetic to the Prime Minister.
PM Thomas was in a jubilant mood given the size of the crowd and he told supporters during the public meeting: “Many of you were apprehensive about your government…… however, I was never in doubt because I firmly believe that God is in full control. So today, we give thanks to the Almighty for taking us thus far.”
Since taking office in July 2008, Congress has been dogged by infighting with two factions at work – one remaining loyal to the Prime Minister and the other is said to be controlled by former Tourism Minister, Peter David.