Prime Minister and Political Leader of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Tillman Thomas has labeled as “mischievous and dishonest”, the utterings of the expelled members of his party.
During a post-Cabinet briefing last week Tuesday, Prime Minister Thomas took a swipe at his former colleagues as he responded to questions from reporters about the decision to appoint William Joseph who currently holds the position as Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office and resigned from the Grenada Board of Tourism (GBT) in October 2010.
The expelled members of the party and government have sought to link Joseph’s appointment along the lines of former government employee, Kenrick Fullerton who was chastised by PM Thomas for being the Chairman of the party and an executive member of the NDC at the same time.
“These people are just being mischievous and dishonest”, said Prime Minister Thomas in defending the Joseph appointment.
The new NDC executive also includes government contract workers Faye Thompson as Recording Secretary and Phillip Alexander as Assistant General Secretary for the Eastern Zone of the country.
PM Thomas told reporters that some of the people elected at the September 30 party convention are not public servants since they were not employed to work in the service by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
He explained that these people are employed under a new system introduced by the administration that was borrowed from the Canadian system, that allow certain political persons to work in the office of the Prime Minister.
The Grenadian Leader said there is “absolutely no contradiction” in the employment of persons aligned to his party.
He stressed that the introduction of the Canadian system is in sync with the NDC’s principles of accountability, transparency and good governance as they recognise there are certain people who are attached to political organisations but becomes part of the Public Service.
Prime Minister Thomas said the accusations of him breaching these three fundamental principles of the NDC, is nothing more than, “a weak argument”.
He pointed out that the issues now being raised by the expelled members of Congress are in vast contrast to the Fullerton issue.
He charged that those persons attacking his stand on transparency have not come up with one thing substantial as he can defend every one of his positions on the issue at hand.
In brushing aside the expelled members, PM Thomas noted that his administration is now “more cohesive” as a government since the expulsion of the 10 members which included former government ministers Peter David (Foreign Affairs), Joseph Gilbert (Communication & Works), Glynis Roberts (Labour), Karl Hood (Foreign Affairs) and Michael Church (Foreign Trade & Energy).
Among the others who were also expelled are Fullerton, as well as former Senator, Arley Gill, Labour Representative in the Upper House of Parliament, Senator Chester Humphrey, Deputy Chairman, Pastor Stanford Simon, and Siddiqui Sylvester, a former member of the party’s Disciplinary Committee.
According to PM Thomas, his administration is now “more cohesive as a government (as) we function probably more efficiently now as a government than when you have to deal with disruptive forces within the system”.
He conceded that while the expulsion of those party members showed some signs of instability in Grenada, it has not really affected them as a government.
The Prime Minister said that Congress was forced to come up with an electoral strategy to get rid of persons who were no longer adhering to the principles of the party.
This, he said was necessary as Grenadians would never support a party that is divided at the executive level and as such the party at its Convention which is the supreme authority was the best place to deal with these issues.
The Prime Minister labeled as “notorious” the conduct of those expelled who were often engaged in attacking their own government and its policies.
” … The nation knows what they’ve been doing”, said Prime Minister Thomas who was supportive in Congress opening its doors to welcome into its fold former revolutionaries like David and Humphrey, prominent members of the ill-fated 1979-83 Grenada Revolution.
Speculation is rife that the NDC Rebels are engaged in talks to form a new party to contest the upcoming general elections.