It’s now official – Clergyman Pastor Stanford Simon of St. George’s Baptist Church at Springs, St. George’s has been expelled from the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
Pastor Simon is one of two religious figures in the country who were among a group of ten members who lost their membership of Congress at the party’s annual convention held September 30 at Telescope in St. Andrew’s.
The other is Pastor Karl Hood, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and one-time head of the People’s Church of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies at St. Paul’s, St. George’s.
It was double humiliation for Pastor Stanford as minutes before his expulsion, he was blocked by delegates from presiding over the convention as Acting Chairman of the party.
The delegates had booed, heckled and jeered at Simon who is associated with a wing of the party that was said to be loyal to expelled General Secretary of Congress, Peter David, the former Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation.
Word had spread among delegates that the night before the Convention, there was some kind of a meeting at the home of the Pastor at Morne Jaloux, St. George’s, allegedly attended by members of the so-called Rebel Group.
THE NEW TODAY was able to obtain a copy of the motion that was moved by Vincent Roberts, one of the three newly elected Floor Members of Congress to prevent the Baptist minister from presiding over the convention:
WHEREAS Article 6 of the NDC Constitution establishes the Convention as the supreme authority of the party AND WHEREAS Mr Stanford Simon was elected Deputy Chairman of the NDC at its Convention in 2011
AND WHEREAS Mr Simon has functioned as Acting Chairman following the stepping aside of Mr Kenrick Fullerton as Chairman.
WHEREAS the said Mr Simon has openly played a visible and vocal role among and on the side of those who wished to see or procure the removal of the Political Leader from Office.
AND WHEREAS as acting Chairman, Mr. Simon took no active part in the planning of this convention.
AND WHEREAS this Convention considers it prudent that there be no further acrimonious conduct or other display of in-fighting; and that any potential for same at this session be avoided ahead of the next general elections
AND WHEREAS this Convention has no confidence that Mr Simon will discharge the functions of Chairman at this session in a manner that would guarantee smooth progress of the business at hand; is not confident that he would discharge the duties of Chairman with impartiality; and that he is wholly unlikely to be prepared to contribute constructively to the work of positioning the Party for the elections at this session:
BE IT RESOLVED that Mr Stanford Simon be relieved from performing the duties of Chairman at this Convention.
BE IT RESOLVED that Mr. William Joseph, a delegate of the St. George South Constituency, and a member of the NDC in good standing, who is more than competent to exercise the function of chairing this convention be elected to chair this said convention until the election of a new Chairman at this convention.