Cracks in “The House”

With general elections in the Spice Isle looming, there are clear and visible signs of increasing cracks in “The House” of the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.

Information is leaking out from “The House” that there is revolt in the camp over the selection of some of the persons as Caretakers with the intention of endorsing them as the eventual candidate for the upcoming national poll.

The two constituencies identified as headaches for the Political Leader and Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell are St. George South and Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

The revolt is quite noticeable in the south where Health Minister, Nicholas Steele, the former Member of Parliament for the Town of St. George is being switched as the most likely replacement for former Tourism Minister, Alexandra Otway-Noel.

There is resistance to Steele from within the NNP Camp as long-standing member of the party, Terrence Forrester is making a bid to be selected as the Caretaker and Candidate.

Forrester has been very diplomatic when asked by THE NEW TODAY about reports that he is throwing his “hat” in the ring in an effort to get the nod of the party supporters in the south of the island.

The only comment that Forrester will offer is the following: “Stay tune, stay tune”.

Forrester is believed to have made a direct approach to the National Executive of the NNP to put his cards on the table about his intention to replace Otway-Noel as the next candidate to be selected by the party for the constituency.

He is calling for the democratic process to be followed and for a poll to be conducted in the south of the island among NNP members and supporters on the person who should go forward rather than the handpicking that is being done by the National Executive.

Forrester is openly working the constituency for himself and can be seen often in some key areas while Minister Steele is being carried around by another leading NNP activist in the south.

It is well-known that Prime Minister Mitchell is backing Minister Steele as the replacement for Otway-Noel.

The next few weeks will be crucial for the ruling party as Forrester has been telling persons close to him that his name will be on the ballot paper in the general elections either for the NNP or otherwise.

A similar situation is facing the ruling party in the Carriacou & Petite Martinique constituency where attorney-at-law, Kindra Maturine-Stewart was announced two weeks ago as the Caretaker to replace the retiring Foreign Affairs Minister, Elvin Nimrod.

NNP insiders have been talking about an internal poll that was conducted which showed that Parliamentary Secretary for Carriacou & Petite Martinique, Senator Nolan Cox was the preferred choice as Nimrod’s replacement.

However, the party’s High Command seemingly rejected the results and opted for the young female lawyer.

It appears that future roles in government were offered to Sen. Cox and the other contender for the position, Minister of State for Education, Sen. Simon Stiell in order to pacify them.

The information obtained by this newspaper is that the outgoing Nimrod is not happy with the manner in which he was brushed aside and believes that certain powerful forces within the party orchestrated his downfall.

There appears to be a lot of “backroom” decisions being taken with the NNP candidate selection process on the grounds of introducing the young brigade at the top flight decision-making process.

The NNP is also without a clear-cut caretaker for St. Andrew North-east to replace Youth and Sports Minister, Roland Bhola who has already announced that he will not be contesting the upcoming election.

The name of female attorney-at-law, Karen Samuel had surfaced as the likely replacement but nothing more has been said about her and also Bertrand John whose name had surfaced many months ago.

In a weekend address to NNP supporters at a public meeting on the Carenage, Prime Minister Mitchell announced that he was pushing back the announcement of the last five Caretakers for another six weeks.

Is this a hint from the Grenadian leader that all is not well within “The House” and that he needs more time to “wet the fire” that is brewing?

The pillars of “The House” might be shaking at the moment and in the fullness of time everything will be manifested.

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