Further evidence has surfaced about the split within the ranks of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
The pro-Peter David faction of Congress has issued its own public statement on the failure of the administration to pay civil servants their monthly pay cheques for the end of August on time.
The statement was issued by Arley Gill, the Public Relations Officer of Congress who is widely known to be a key member of the faction led by David, the former Minister of Tourism & Foreign Affairs and current General Secretary of the party.
A usually reliable source told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that Prime Minister Thomas who is the Political Leader of NDC was not consulted about Gill’s statement.
In the statement, Gill, a former Senator and Minister of State for Culture and Information said that Finance Minister, Nazim Burke, urgently needs to take on board suggestions on easing the economic burden of citizens from the broad membership of the party.
The David faction is known to be not happy with the management of the economy by Minister Burke who is also the Deputy Leader of NDC.
Speaking recently in Parliament, David pointed out that he had fundamental differences with the fiscal and economic policies being pursued by the administration but did not specify.
According to Gill, Minister Burke and the Thomas government could only benefit from embracing creative ideas on the economy from NDC members, including executive officials, who constantly hear complaints from Grenadians on issues relating to jobs and money.
“As a party, the NDC empathises with Grenadians who tell us, for example, of the stress and strain they experience when there is a late payment of monthly salaries; or when they have to send their children back to university overseas without having received the disbursement of the stipend from government,’’ he said.
Public servants’ August salaries, which had been delayed, were expected to be paid Tuesday and Wednesday, September 4 and 5.
Gill is recommending that the Thomas government urgently re-examines its approach to managing the economy, and also suggested that in mobilising resources abroad, it should adopt “a more creative and bolder’’ foreign policy.
While he did not elaborate on the foreign policy initiatives, the pro-David faction has been at odds with the Thomas government for not taking up full membership of the Venezuela-financed ALBA agreement in which Caracas offers a financial package to some Caribbean countries on concessional terms.
Thomas who is considered to be pro-Washington is said to be not prepared to join any arrangement that often “thumbs its nose at the United States.
A former political detainee of Grenada’s 1979-83 leftist leaders, Thomas was freed from imprisonment without trial by U.S and Caribbean troops that landed on the island on October 25, 1983 to help restore order following bloody infighting among the revolutionary leaders which included the execution of Marxist Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop.