Female high court judge, Justice Margaret Mohammed was expected yesterday (Thursday) to deliver a judgment on an application made by embattled Member of Parliament for the St. George South-east constituency, Karl Hood to be given the nod to represent the party in the upcoming general elections.
Hood has filed a motion seeking to prevent the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) from overlooking him as a possible candidate for the seat that he won in the 2008 general elections.
Congress has earmarked small businessman, Randall Robinson to be its candidate at the polls which political pundits predict will take place within the first six months of 2013.
The legal move by Hood came unexpected as he had earlier signaled his intention to bow out of frontline politics.
However, political observers believe that Hood might have been influenced into taking the action following a September 30 decision taken at the annual convention of NDC to expel him and eight others from the party as part of a clean-up initiative.
Five months ago, Hood in an interview with The New Today newspaper stated that he will no longer get involved in the politics of the country.
“I have decided when this term is over, I will not be running for office,” he told this newspaper.
Hood said then that “a lot of stuff” led to his decision and that he had become disillusioned with politics, adding that, “I don’t think I want to be a part of that going forward”.
The St. George’s South East MP also cited his resignation from the Cabinet earlier in the year as part of his reasons for turning his back on politics, as he said the situation within Congress had become “untenable and unbearable for him” to be associated with the political party.
In a prepared statement following his resignation from the Cabinet, the former government minister said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, he was not allowed to serve as he could, and was made to look incompetent and inert, so much so that he was dubbed a non-performer by the media.
Hood charged that his constituency suffered because the State apparatus was not put at his disposal to meet the legitimate needs of constituents and that his initiatives in government were also stifled leaving him with no way to turn.
He spoke of being made a sacrificial lamb by Congress and that his conscience would not allow him to continue within that construct.
However in an affidavit heard before the #3 High Court last week, Hood did a complete turn about and express an interest in contesting elections on an NDC ticket.
He is seeking a Restraining Order against the Political Leader and the NDC Executive from replacing him as the candidate for St. George South East.
“The unconstitutional action taken at the Convention (his expulsion from the party in September) to purportedly revoke my membership of the NDC has deprived me of that right”, he told the court.
Hood’s affidavit states in part: I am desirous of contesting any upcoming parliamentary elections as part of the NDC as I believe that I have much to offer to my party and my country in the role of a member of the House. I am informed by members of the Constituency of St. George South East which I now represent, and I verily believe, that without any notice to the presently serving executive of the constituency or myself a process of selecting another person to contest upcoming parliamentary elections for the constituency of St. George South East on behalf of the NDC was completed.
“In the above premises, I fear that, unless restrained by this Honourable Court, the party will proceed to “imminent” general elections while denying me of the right to so participate in keeping with the constitution of the party.”
Hood is represented by his brother, Attorney-at-law, Cajeton Hood.
The sitting MP walked away from his profession as a Religious Pastor at the Pentecostal Church, St Paul’s, in 2008 to become a candidate in the General Elections in which he defeated the parliamentary representative for the New National Party (NNP), Gregory Bowen.
His decision to become involved in frontline politics was met with a level of discomfort amongst his followers in church, however he said it was his “calling” and that he needed to fulfill it.
In the July interview with The New Today, MP Hood was asked if he would return to being a pastor and he responded: “It is left to be seen”.
“The bad thing about politics is that it seems to have a way of damaging you very much and persons take liberty in saying things that they don’t even know, I guess that’s the nature of the political beast that people will try to blacken you with as much as they can to gain some kind of prominence, though a lot of it, I’m not bothered by it, but it has posed a problem.
… I won’t pretend it hasn’t, it has posed a problem which I have to deal with, I think I’m big enough to deal with it and I’m bold enough to deal with it and see what happens going forward,” he told The New Today.
This was Hood’s second political stint – in 1990 he was unsuccessful in his bid to win the St George North-West seat for the NDC against the then sitting Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell.