A rebel faction within the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) is making moves to regain control of the Women’s Arm of the party.
The NDC Women, last month, put in place a new executive that is headed by South St. George Constituency Branch Member, Jennifer Simon-Rapier who is known to be a strong ally of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
The Grenadian leader has been engaged in a serious battle in recent months to try and regain control of the National Executive of Congress in which David is said to be in control of most of the membership.
Prime Minister Thomas and his close aide, Senator Glen Noel reportedly played key roles in allowing the Women’s arm to hold their election in the face of behind the scene maneuvering from pro-David members of Congress to put the elections on hold for a second time.
THE NEW TODAY was told that at last week Thursday’s National Executive Meeting of Congress David labelled the elections as null and void and announced that it would have to take place at a later date.
David reportedly told the National Executive that he would organise new elections together with the former President, Carmen Maria Roberts-Pascall.
According to a party insider, David claimed that the National Executive body of the party had taken a decision to put all elections on hold, including those at the constituency level.
The source said members who were present at Thursday meeting were at a loss as no one recalled that such a decision took place.
He stated that it was his understanding that the decision was taken in respect of election of candidates at the constituency level to represent the party in the upcoming general election.
“I heard it was endorsement (of candidates) when all the turmoil was going on a couple months ago. Up to now nobody could find it in the Minutes,” the source said.
Speculation is rife that the women are viewing David’s move with great suspicion since the Constituency of St. Andrew’s North East went ahead and had its elections of officers not too long ago.
The source quoted David as saying that the Chairpersons from the Constituency Braches were not informed about the elections of the Women’s Arm.
Under the NDC Constitution, no provisions are made for heads of Constituency branches.
A member of the Women’s Arm told this newspaper that when the group met in the month of May, the date for the elections of officers was set for June 9.
She said that three days before the scheduled date, the NDC Women were being advised by outgoing President, that the Party’s Secretariat has advised that all elections be put on hold.
The source who spoke on condition of not being identified said there has not been an election for the past three years, and the past President has been informing them that due to the position of the Secretariat the meeting and election would be rescheduled for a date to be announced.
According to the source, members were not briefed about who was the person making such decisions on their behalf.
THE NEW TODAY learnt that through the intervention of Prime Minister Thomas, and Senator Noel the meeting went ahead last month as planned and Jenny Simon-Rapier was elected as the new head of the Women’s arm.
According to the source, Sen. Noel advised the women’s group that the party’s constitution does not give the Secretariat the power to postpone a meeting called and/or organised by an organ of the party.
The source spoke of being confused over David’s utterances since he also said at the same meeting that the Executive cannot make any decision on behalf of any constituency or party organ that is due for annual election.
At the meeting, the new president, Simon-Rapier claimed that her predecessor approached her at her workplace with a letter asking her to take over the Women’s Arm.
The Women’s Arm is believed to be an influential organ within Congress.