‘The NDC has no CENTRAL COMMITTEE’.
That’s the statement of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas as he reacted to a press release issued by a faction within his ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) headed by former Tourism Minister, Peter David, a leading figure in the ill-fated 1979-83 Grenada Revolution.
The faction is currently in charge of the National Executive of Congress and battling with the Prime Minister for influence in the affairs of the government.
The Central Committee was the all-powerful body that controlled the affairs of the 1979-83 People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) of late Marxist Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop and decided to strip him of his powers following a bitter internal leadership feud.
When Bishop was executed on Fort Rupert, reverted back to its original name of Fort George on October 19 1983, it was reported then that it was the Central Committee that gave the orders to a group of soldiers to carry out the killings.
Although David was not a member of the Central Committee, he held the position of Captain in the People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA), a vital component of the People’s Armed Forces.
This was the group that seized control of the State after the slaying of Bishop and set up the short-lived Revolutionary Military Council (RMC) to run the affairs of Grenada.
The RMC, headed by General Hudson Austin were removed from power when U.S and Caribbean troops staged a military intervention on October 25, 1983 to restore democratic rule of law on the island.
Following is the full text of the release issued by Prime Minister Thomas in reaction to an earlier statement put out by the David-led faction that currently controls the NDC National Executive:
I make this statement in my Constitutional capacity as Prime Minister and as Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress, in response to a Press Release issued yesterday, Sunday, by the PRO of the NDC.
As Political Leader of the NDC, I am able to say that Gill’s release was issued without my knowledge and approval.
While it is true that political parties contest elections and that victory enables a party to form a Government, the provisions of the Constitution of Grenada are supreme in every respect.
Accordingly, once a Government has been formed, that Government owes a duty of accountability to the electorate and the public. The party has no such obligation.
The NDC Constitution is very clear on the relationship between Government and party. It stipulates that “an NDC Government must pay regard to the views of its party”. Clearly, it does not allow for the Government to be directed or instructed by the party in its DECISION-MAKING. The obligation is to give consideration to proposals made by the party.
It would be a case of indifference and downright disrespect for a Government NOT TO ACCOUNT to the people after four years of SERVICE. How could any self-respecting Government prefer to hide from the people and merry itself at this time in a Cook-up, fun games, instead of reporting on its stewardship? There will of course be opportunities for this kind of event but July 8th is not a fitting day for such.
The public needs to hear from the Government on its Anniversary. Anything short of this would amount to disrespect for the culture and the people.
I do not propose to attend to the issue of the unfortunate division affecting the NDC at this time, as evidenced by the statement put out by Mr. Gill, as PRO of the NDC. For the present purposes, I will limit myself to say that it is inconsistent, intriguing, dishonest and lacking in good sense and sound judgment.
The Party created by the founding fathers of the NDC is one steeped in Parliamentary Democracy. The NDC has no CENTRAL COMMITTEE.
Government is faced with many pressing issues of national importance. At the present time, our primary focus is on ensuring that we have a successful Carnival and that we make progress in addressing the existing financial and economic difficulties.
The Government will have a major presentation in Gouyave on Sunday, under the theme “PRODUCING OUR WAY TO PROSPERITY”. Our call is to serve the people. Our duty is to be obedient to that call. Our task is to build a better Grenada for all.