Parkes in, Simon out

Anthony Parkes – the new Chairman of the NDC group in South-east

September 24 is the date selected by the St. George South-east Constituency branch of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to identify its candidate for the upcoming general elections.

A well-placed source told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that the date was  agreed upon at a meeting held of the branch last week Thursday night to select a new Chairman for the group.

The meeting was not attended by outgoing Candidate for the constituency, former Foreign Affairs Minister, Karl Hood, who has filed a motion of No-confidence against Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and his four-year old administration.

Last week’s constituency branch meeting resulted in former Principal of the JW Fletcher Memorial School, Anthony Parkes being elected unopposed to head the NDC Branch.

Parkes, considered to be a strong supporter of Prime Minister Thomas replaced clergyman, Pastor Stanford Simon of St. George’s Baptist Church at Springs, St. George’s who is known to be a member of the so-called Peter David Group of dissidents.

Pastor Simon – no longer in charge of St. George South-east constituency

According to the source, a move was halted by some persons to use the meeting to select the new candidate to represent Congress in the national poll.

He said a decision was taken to hold the meeting on Monday in order to allow prospective candidates to fully prepare themselves in order to make presentations to the Branch on why he or she should get the nod for the general election.

The two names that are expected to feature are that of trade unionist, Elliot Bishop of Marian and Randall Robinson who lives in the Creighton area of the constituency.

One other name, which was previously mentioned as a possible candidate for the constituency, is that of Terron Gilchrist, whose contract was not renewed with the Ministry of Health.

Gilchrist who had earlier put up a series of posters in several villages in the constituency, aimed at promoting his ambitions to run as a candidate, has dropped out of sight in recent months.

He is considered to be a member of the pro-David faction of Congress and is not in good grace with supporters of the Prime Minister.

A party insider said that Robinson is considered as the early front-runner to get the nod as the Candidate in light of the role he has played in helping to reorganise the various village groups that help make up the Constituency branch.

He also spoke about the passage of a resolution at the meeting in which the branch sought to distance itself from the activities of the embattled Member of Parliament, Karl Hood.

The intention, he said is to inform the nation that the ex-government minister cannot take any action on their behalf whether in or outside Parliament and is acting on his own.

Over the past week, Prime Minister Thomas was able to strengthen his hand at the party level when election was held to fill executive positions in St. George South.

Political activist, Halim Chase who is considered to be a pro-Thomas supporter was narrowly elected as the new Chairman of the Constituency branch as replacement for the incumbent, Peter Spencer.

Chase has as his deputy, Lennox Adonis who at one time was considered as a possible contender for the post.

One party source told this newspaper that Adonis decided to pull out of the contest and to allow Chase to go forward as the new head given the amount of work he has done over the years for Congress in the constituency.

Prime Minister Thomas is said to be getting his troops ready for the September 30 annual party convention in which he hopes to regain total control of the party from the David faction.

Speculation is rife that during the convention, the Grenadian leader is expected to set the tone for Congress to get its machinery in place for imminent general elections.

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