Who will be the NNP candidate for South St. George in the upcoming general election?
That’s the question generating a lot of debate in many circles since the recent announcement by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell that current Health Minister and Member of Parliament for the Town of St. George, Nicholas Steele is the chosen caretaker for the South St. George constituency.
Less than a month ago, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell announced that Steele will be replacing former Tourism Minister, Alexandra Otway-Noel, the current MP for South St. George as the Caretaker.
Otway-Noel had resigned as a member of government in January leading to widespread reports of a rift between her and the Grenadian leader.
An official ceremony was held approximately one week ago endorsing Steele as the new NNP caretaker for the south.
Prior to this announcement, Dr. Mitchell revealed that Attorney Peter David, who had represented the Town of St. George as a member of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) from 2003 to 2013, is the caretaker for that same constituency under the NNP.
David is one of several persons who were expelled as a member of the NDC in September 2012.
He has since joined the NNP currently serving as Assistant General Secretary of the party and also as a Senator in the country’s parliament.
THE NEW TODAY has been reliably informed that former Public Relations Officer of the NNP, Terrence Forrester, initiated a community survey in the Mont Toute, Grand Anse area last week, to find out whom the community members would prefer between himself and Nicholas Steele.
“It seems as though he (Forrester) want to become the NNP candidate for the constituency. He has people in the field in Mont Toute carrying out a survey to find out which one they will prefer as the candidate…They actually came to me…they said they are carrying out the survey for Mr. Forrester,” the source said.
According to the well-placed source, “Terry is more popular because he is always in the community, unlike Nicholas Steele.”
“He (Terry) is more popular and more seen in the community than Steele, who doesn’t come in the community at all. So they prefer Terry. That’s the sense I am getting and I think that this is what Terry is trying to find out by carrying out the survey, to find some kind of mathematical evidence to show that he is more popular in Mont Toute than Steele”, he said.
“I don’t know if he is doing it in the rest of the communities but I know for Mont Tout, he had two persons conducting a survey”, the source added.
Speculation is rife that Prime Minister Mitchell is throwing his support behind Steele and not with Forrester on the grounds that the NNP is now looking to the youthful members of the party to be placed in more prominent positions.
NNP insiders have said it is only a matter of time before the Disciplinary Committee of the party is asked to take action against Forrester if he continues to push forward his candidacy for South St. George.
When Prime Minister Mitchell announced the first set of caretakers back in April, he indicated that the persons selected are not necessarily the candidates who would run for the party in the upcoming general elections.
“He (Dr. Mitchell) said the caretakers are not necessarily the candidates so maybe Terry is banking on that…I don’t know it seems as though something is brewing in the south…”, said the source.
“…I thought that they had agreed that Steele is the candidate and Terry was on board with that but the fact that he is challenging and just last week, he (Forrester) sponsored a local road race in Mont Tout, it means that he (Terry) is trying to challenge Steele’s appointment.
When contacted for verification on Monday, Forrester did not confirm or deny initiating a survey challenging the popularity status between himself and Nicholas Steele.
“I shall make my position known at the appropriate time. I am not confirming or denying what you are saying,” Forrester said.
Sources close to the NNP say that Forrester had shown interest in the past of wanting to be a candidate in South St. George but was rejected by PM Mitchell and his executive.
He is also known to have expressed the desire to serve as a Senator in the Upper House but was rejected by the Prime Minister.
At 64, the upcoming election could be the final opportunity for Forrester, the man widely regarded as the Chief spokesman for NNP in election campaigns to run for a seat in Parliament given his age.