Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has moved one step closer towards taking control of the National Executive of his governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The pro-Peter David executive member, Siddiqui Sylvester has been replaced as Chairman of the St. George North West Constituency branch of the party.
In elections held last week Wednesday night, long-standing journalist, Wayne Modeste was elected unopposed as the new head following a meeting held at the Grand Mal Community Centre.
Under the NDC constitution, Modeste is now guaranteed a place on the National Executive of Congress.
Modeste, the current Editor of THE NEW TODAY newspaper, has served before as Chairman of the branch.
He is widely expected to steer the branch in a different direction from that of Sylvester who is widely known to be a close ally of David.
Sylvester and his deputy Marcus Edwards failed to attend the meeting that was set two weeks earlier when the membership of the Constituency Branch voted to have the elections that were overdue.
However, days before the meeting took place Secretary of the branch Wade Phillip received an e-mail message from Sylvester from which another e-mail sent by Yvonne James, Assistant General Secretary on the National Executive was copied advising on going ahead with the election of Officers.
James said, in the message, that should the election take place it would be considered null and void.
Prime Minister Thomas who is the Political Leader of NDC along with Deputy Political Leader, Nazim Burke (Minister of Finance) and National Executive Treasurer, Bernard Isaac attended the meeting.
A party release said 25 members representing each of the seven polling divisions were present to elect their new executive.
“The newly elected executive extends it heartfelt thanks to the members for placing their trust and confidence in us. We pledge that we will do our utmost to maintain and abide by the core values, as stipulated in the party’s constitution”, it added.
This is a clear reference to the internal battles within Congress in which Prime Minister Thomas has been engulfed in a power struggle with a so-called group of rebels who are bent on taking the party on a new direction.
The group, led by David, is said to be in favour of flirting with Venezuela and its ALBA finances and opening the doors for investors to set up a casino on the island.
Political pundits regard the downfall of Sylvester as a major blow to the General Secretary who is engaged in a tussle with the Grenadian Leader for supremacy within the party.
A party insider told THE NEW TODAY that supporters of the Prime Minister were expected to use last Thursday’s executive meeting to call for a date to be selected as soon as possible for the convening of the postponed annual convention as the next step to get the party ready for the upcoming general elections.
Speculation is rife that a pro-Tillman Thomas slate is being put together to challenge several executive members who are known to be pro-David.
A party insider hinted to this newspaper that David, the former Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation could be challenged for his position as chief party organizer.
Following are the persons who were elected to serve as officers on the NDC Constituency branch in St. George North-west that is under the control of Dr. Keith Mitchell, the Political Leader of the main opposition New National Party (NNP):
Chairman: Wayne Modeste
Deputy Chairman: Davis John
Secretary: Wade Phillip
Treasurer: Evette John
Asst. Sec/Treasurer: Patricia Williams
Public Relation Officer: Ali Dowden
Floor Members: Terrie Registe, Abel Medford and Alban Bruno.