The next sitting of the House of Representatives could be one of the most intriguing as Grenadians await a new date for the opening of the Fifth Session of the Eighth Parliament.
A press release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister on Monday informed the nation that Prime Minister Tillman Thomas had requested Governor-General, Sir Carlyle Glean, to prorogue the current session of Parliament.
The release said: “Prime Minister, Hon. Tillman Thomas today requested His Excellency, the Governor-General of Grenada, Sir Carlyle Glean, to prorogue Parliament. This action will bring an end to the 4th Session of the 8th Parliament.
“A date for the commencement of the 5th Session of the 8th Parliament will be announced, at which time the traditional Throne Speech is expected to be graciously delivered by His Excellency, the Governor-General”.
The prorogation of Parliament comes against the backdrop of calls by the main opposition New National Party (NNP) and disgruntled members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) for Parliament to sit to deal with a number of issues of national importance.
Former government ministers, Peter David and Joseph Gilbert have joined calls made by NNP to convene Parliament to debate issues like the late payment of salaries to civil servants at the end of August and problems faced by various private sector businesses in the country.
However, THE NEW TODAY understands that one of the issues to be dealt when Parliament reconvenes is the controversial Saudi Arabia allegation leveled against Prime Minister Thomas and his NDC government.
Speaker of the House of Representative George Mc Guire intends to report to the House a response received from the management of Republic Bank (Grenada) Ltd following allegations of a questionable financial transaction from Saudi Arabia involving a senior member of the government.
Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Mitchell made the allegation during a May 15 Sitting of the House of Representatives in which he claimed to have solid evidence that US$150,000.00 came into Republic Bank for a senior official of government from Saudi Arabia.
Prime Minister Thomas has admitted receiving US$50,000.00 as a contribution to NDC from the British Virgin Island, through his personal account at Republic Bank as a trustee of the party to enhance the work of the National Democratic Congress.
He did not disclose the source of funds since the provider did not want to be identified. But PM Thomas made it clear that he received no money from Saudi Arabia.
McGuire told the House that he was awaiting a response from the management of the bank and hopes that the next sitting of the House of Representatives will bring the issue to a complete end.
“It is my fervent hope that this rather unpleasant matter which has done irredeemable harm to Parliament will be brought to a final conclusion by the next sitting of this Honourable House”, he said.
Another issue to be dealt with at the next Sitting is two government backbenchers desire to change seating arrangements.
Former Ministers Karl Hood and Michael Church want to move away from their seats on the side of the Government.
Hood resigned from the Congress-led Cabinet in May due to what he said is a situation within the administration that has become untenable and unbearable for him.
His resignation followed on the heels of his refusal to vote along with the Government side on a No-confidence motion brought against Prime Minister Tillman Thomas by the Leader of the Opposition.
Church, Parliamentary Representative for St John, resigned from the Congress Cabinet in 2010 after he was demoted by Prime Minister Thomas.
The former Minister of Foreign Trade and The Environment requested permission from the Prime Minister to visit a sick family member in the United States.
However, Church flew instead to Switzerland to attend a meeting, which the administration knew nothing about in the company of Dr. Patrick Antoine who is known to be aligned to NNP.
Parliamentary sources have said that is very unlikely that a second motion of no confidence against the leadership of the country by ex-minister Hood will be heard at the next sitting of Parliament.
Hood filed the second no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Tillman Thomas within three months of the first by Dr. Mitchell.
That Motion, was defeated eight to five votes with one abstention and one person being absent.