Female Attorney-at-law, 34-year old Kindra Maturine-Stewart has gotten the nod by the National Executive of the ruling New National Party (NNP) to be its Caretaker for the Carriacou & Petite Martinique constituency in the upcoming general elections.
A party release said that the decision was taken following an executive meeting of the NNP late Monday at its head office at Mt. Helicon on Upper Lucas Street in St. George’s.
It is the second batch of caretakers announced by the ruling party as part of its preparations for the upcoming general elections.
Maturine-Stewart is now expected to take over the work of the party going forward, now that 75-year old Elvin Nimrod, long-serving Member of Parliament, and Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Political leader of the party is retiring.
The NNP release described the newcomer to frontline politics as “a young champion for the rights of children and women in particular”.
“I am humbled, and it is a great honour to be given the opportunity to help lead the work of the party in Carriacou and Petite Martinique” she said.
“We have a great foundation in Carriacou and Petite Martinique. There is a vibrant party structure and widespread support in the community. People there understand that NNP is the only real choice to continue to build on our gains,” she added.
Maturine-Stewart got the nod over two other contenders – Parliamentary Secretary for Carriacou & Petite Martinique, Senator Norland Cox and Minister of State for Education, Sen. Simon Stiell.
She reportedly was endorsed by Nimrod as the person whom he would support to take charge of the constituency.
The attorney is the wife of lawyer Nigel Stewart who once served as Parliamentary Secretary for the constituency of the two sister isles.
The NNP newcomer appears to be mindful of the need to engage in team work to hold onto the constituency which Nimrod has maintained a stranglehold on for the past 18 years.
She said: “While I am selected to lead the work, it is not just about me, but the team we have put together to go forward”.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell had visited the sister isle over the weekend to meet with the NNP’s constituency group and party supporters.
The meeting was also attended by Senators Cox and Stiell – who were also under consideration.
According to the NNP release both of them indicated how excited they are to work with Maturine-Stewart now that the standard bearer has been chosen.
“We have been spoilt for choices, and either way this is a big victory, and we can now build on the work of MP Nimrod going forward,” Stiell said.
Apart from Maturine-Stewart, the NNP also announced that four sitting MPs have been returned as caretakers for other constituencies – Tobias Clement (St George’s North East), Delma Thomas (St Andrew’s North West), Yolande Bain-Horsford (St Andrew’s South West) and Alvin Dabreo (St John’s).
The latest batch of five join the previous caretakers announced about a month ago – St Patrick’s East (Pamela Moses), St George’s South East (Gregory Bowen), St George’s South (Nickolas Steele), Town of St George (Peter David) and St Andrew’s South East (Emmalin Pierre).
Meanwhile, NNP insiders have told THE NEW TODAY that the party took a decision to appoint former MP for the Town of St. George, Sen. Brenda Hood as the Campaign Manager for David in his bid to win back the seat that he last represented in Parliament in 2013.
The move is regarded as a signal from Prime Minister Mitchell that he is still very much in control of the running of NNP in light of perception in some quarters about David’s growing influence in the party.
David and Hood were locked in a bitter warfare after the 2003 general elections as the latter took court action to challenge the lost of the constituency.
Hood filed a court case on the grounds that David, who held Canadian citizenship was not qualified to take part in local elections as a candidate.
David’s legal team counteracted with a response that included a statement made back in 1973 by the Father of Grenada’s Independence, the late Sir Eric Matthew Gairy who indicated that a special clause was inserted into the Constitution to clear the way for Commonwealth citizens to be eligible to contest elections on the island.
When Gairy made the statement, Grenadian-born, Canadian citizen, George Hosten was serving as the island’s Minister of Finance and elected Member of Parliament for St. George North-west.