Former Prime Minister and Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Tillman Thomas has given his strongest signal that he would be bowing out of frontline politics.
The 66-year old Thomas informed the host of a radio programme last week that he has no intention of contesting another General Elections in the country.
The former Prime Minister lost the St. Patrick’s East Constituency to newcomer, former School Principal, Clifton Paul who ran on a ticket of the New National Party (NNP) which swept the polls in the February 19 General Elections winning all 15 Parliamentary seats.
Thomas told the host of the programme that he is now more concerned about seeing the NDC re-organised and that once someone who is suitable to replace him in the constituency is identified, he will do whatever he can to advance the cause of the party.
An attorney-at-law by profession, the ex-Prime Minister said he will always remain Tillman Thomas, as position does not define him.
“Position wouldn’t define me. I’m a Grenadian, whatever I have to do for Grenada I would do it. I don’t have to be the Prime Minister, I don’t have to be a leader to do something for Grenada. Whatever I could do in my capacity I would do it for the advancement and well being of our people,” he added.
“I could equally be effective in what I have to do as a private citizen than holding a position,” he added.
Speculation is rife that ex-government ministers Nazim Burke and Franka Alexis-Bernadine are considered as the early front-runners to replace Thomas once he decides to bow out as NDC Leader.
Thomas first entered frontline politics in the 1984 general elections when he won the St. Patrick’s East Constituency on a ticket of the original NNP that was formed by three centrists groups – the Grenada National Party (GNP), the National Democratic Party (NDP), and the Grenada Democratic Movement (GDM).
This US-backed grouping was put together on one of the ward islands of St. Vincent in the aftermath of the October 1983 U.S military action in Grenada to put down a military junta that had seized power in a bloody coup in which Marxist Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop was killed.
Amidst fears of a possible victory at the polls by deposed former Prime Minister Eric Gairy, Washington with the backing of some Caribbean leaders ensured that the three centrists groups formed a single political party to contest the poll and to form the government.
Thomas was appointed as a Junior Minister in the Ministry of Legal Affairs to serve under the former GDM leader, Dr. Francis Alexis.
He later left NNP along with Dr. Alexis and former NDP leader, George Brizan to form NDC in 1987. Thomas was elected as Party Leader of Congress in October 2000.
The former Prime Minister also commented on the sorry state of affairs with the NDC’s public relations.
He said the party has recognised that it needs to be more vocal on issues of national importance that is affecting the country since the NNP took Office last February.
Thomas indicated that when people do not receive information they are unable to form the right opinion.
“We need to be commenting on what is happening in the (Royal Grenada) Police Force, what is happening with the CCC, what is happening on the educational front”, he said.
“We need to be commenting on issues, even that recent Bill that was passed (in the Lower House of Parliament), the Electronic Crime Bill,” he added.