The resignation of Alexandra Otway-Noel as a member of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government has been met with mixed reaction.
There has been talk for sometime now about the future of the Member of Parliament for the South St. George constituency and her hopes of seeking re-election for another five-year term.
The first Cabinet reshuffle undertaken by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell sent a strong signal that Otway-Noel might not after all be enjoying the best of relations with her leader.
There were whispers in certain NNP quarters that the female MP for the South had stood up to the autocratic Mitchell within months of the NNP victory at the polls, as she did not allegedly like certain comments thrown in her direction.
NNP insiders also dropped hints that in the early months of the party’s victory at the polls in the 2013 general elections, PM Mitchell was trying to reign in Otway-Noel due to the number of overseas trip made as Minister of Tourism.
Reports circulated that in the face of shortage of funds from the Central Government that the female MP was finding financial resources outside of government coffers to make some of these overseas trips.
Not many Grenadians might be able to recall the vicious onslaught on Dr. Mitchell back in the 1990’s by Otway-Noel’s very outspoken father, William “Sleepie” Otway who served for many years as the Manager of the local office of LIAT.
“Sleepie” then tore up his membership card of NNP and walked out on Dr. Mitchell and the party. Are we going to see the same thing being done at the appropriate moment by Alexandra “all in the fullness of time”?
However, the resignation of the female MP from the government has solved a problem for Prime Minister Mitchell on the selection of NNP candidates for two of the key constituencies in the parish of St. George.
The way is now clear for the Prime Minister to select either Health Minister, Nicholas Steele or Peter David in either the Town of St. George or South St. George.
It is well known that Mr. David and his supporters have already declared him as the next NNP candidate for the city.
If this is the case then the Health Minister, if he intends to seek re-election to Parliament might have to focus his eyes on Otway-Noel’s constituency.
THE NEW TODAY has a strong feeling that the Otway-Noel development is the start of other things within the NNP, as the party gets ready for the upcoming general election.
There are reports that some forces are trying to get the party to look for a replacement for the ageing Elvin Nimrod in the constituency of Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
A certain cultural artiste who is known to be the recipient of many construction contracts awarded by the NNP in the sister isle is spearheading the move against MP Nimrod.
The anti-Nimrod forces within the NNP are advocating that the MP is not doing any significant political work on the ground and that after 20 years at the helm he should step aside for a younger person.
A few names have already surfaced as likely NNP candidates in the next general election including former deputy political leader of the National Democratic Congress, attorney-at-law, George Prime.
However, the die-hard NNP supporters are seemingly prepared to give their blessings to a former Senator or his wife who is also an attorney-at-law like her husband.
The names of two current NNP Senators with family links in Carriacou – Senators Simon Stiell and Nolan Cox – do not seem to be getting much traction from the key NNP activists in the field in Carriacou.
This newspaper believes that these NNPites are flirting with danger and that Nimrod will survive the attacks and put his name on the ballot for the next general election.
There is also some grumbling among the NNP on the future of former Youth Minister, Emmalin Pierre in the St. Andrew South-east constituency.
Not much has been heard about Pierre since she was removed in the last Cabinet reshuffle as Minister of Youth and Sports and put into virtual obscurity by Prime Minister Mitchell within the Office of the Prime Minister.
The name of a businessman in the hardware industry is surfacing as a possible replacement for Pierre.
If this is the case, the Prime Minister might be influenced to make the move due to many factors including the historical fact that the people of St. Andrew South-east have changed their elected MP’s after giving them only one-term in office.
As the NNP tries to put its “House” in order for the upcoming battle against the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Political Leader, Prime Minister Mitchell will be very mindful of the near defeat in the 2003 general election and the outcome of the November 24 Referendum on Constitutional Reform.
These two issues along with the failure to “deliver” on the many promises arising from the 2013 polls can determine how quick the Prime Minister might pull the date of the next general election from his back pocket or briefcase.