A move to appoint former government ministers, Glynis Roberts and Michael Church as Senators might have influenced former Governor-General, Sir Carlyle Glean to demit office sooner rather than later.
According to a well-place source, a top figure within the ruling New National Party (NNP) government had tried to influence Sir Carlyle to make the appointments given the party’s clean sweep of all fifteen seats in the February 19 polls.
The former Governor-General selected three defeated candidates of the outgoing National Democratic Congress (NDC) – Nazim Burke, Franka Bernadine and Dr. George Vincent – to serve as opposition Senators.
The controversial Church was a former Minister of Foreign Trade in the Congress administration. He ran into problem with then Prime Minister Tillman Thomas when he was caught deceiving the Cabinet on a trip he made to Switzerland with a political activist of the NNP.
In the campaign for the February elections, Church threw his support behind the opposition candidate for his rural St. John’s seat, Alvin Da Breo, the current Minister of State in the Ministry of Public Utilities.
Former Tourism Minister Roberts was expelled from Congress along with Church and several others like Peter David, Chester Humphrey, Siddiqui Sylvester, Karl Hood, Pastor Stanford Simon, Joseph Gilbert and Arley Gill in the face of a challenge to the authority of the former Prime Minister.
Roberts, the former Member of Parliament for South St. George constituency, led the small National United Front (NUF) to a humiliating defeat at the polls.
After the elections, NNP insiders were dropping strong hints that since Congress did not win any seats in the contest that none of its members should be considered for roles in the island’s Parliament.
The NDC received just over 20, 000 votes in the elections as opposed to 32, 000 for NNP.
The source who spoke on condition that he was not identified said that the attempt to try and influence the appointments to the Senate was seen by Sir Carlyle as a signal that he needed to get out of the office.
Another authoritative source said that the new leadership in St. George’s and Sir Carlyle were seemingly heading on a road of confrontation following the change of government.
He spoke of the same NNP high-ranking official not being happy with the decision made by the then Governor-General to appoint Head of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Gloria Payne-Banfield to act for him when he traveled to neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago to attend the funeral of the island’s first female Governor, Dame Hilda Bynoe.
He quoted the NNP official as being annoyed at the manner in which the Governor-General had reached his decision to select someone to act for him.
“Who the …..so and so Carlyle think he is. I want to know who he thinks is running this country”, the source quoted the high-ranking government official as saying.
The decision of Sir Carlyle to demit office paved the way for current Governor-General, Dame Cecile La Grenade to be appointed to the post.
Just over a month ago, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell in defending the decision for one of its losing candidates in the 2008 general elections, Sergeant Carl Caton to be rehired in the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) likened it to the decision under the former government to appoint Payne-Banfield to head the Public Service Commission (PSC).
Payne-Banfield, a former Cabinet Secretary, had a brief stint as Political Leader of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) and took part in the 2008 general elections.
Speculation is rife that the new rulers in St. George’s would not look in her direction when the term of the PSC members end within the next few weeks.