Several top-ranking former executive members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have refused to comment of the latest move by attorney-at-law Peter David to return to frontline politics as a member of the New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
In what came as no surprise to many, David, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and General Secretary of Congress became an official member of NNP on Tuesday night at a ceremony held in the rural St. Andrew North-west constituency.
The ceremony was held at the Paraclete Government School in the middle of the constituency held by Social Development Minister, Delma Thomas.
THE NEW TODAY contacted three former NDC members who left the party and helped in the formation of the National United Front (NUF) – former Senator Jerome Joseph, former Labour Minister and current Political Leader of NUF, Glynis Roberts and barrister-at-law, Feron Lowe, the Ex-Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Agriculture under the Congress government.
When Joseph was asked if he was aware of this new development, he said that David called to inform him of the decision to join NNP but he will not like to comment on the issue.
Well-placed sources told this newspaper that Joseph had turned down an approach made to him by David to support NNP in the February 2013 general elections.
Joseph had played a leading role in the aftermath of NDC’s 15-0 loss to NNP in the 1999 poll to bring in David, Lowe and other former revolutionaries of the 1979-83 ill-fated Grenada Revolution into Congress.
Roberts who was considered as a close ally of David in the Congress government of 2008-13 told THE NEW TODAY that she did not know about the development but did not want to say anything much about it.
“I don’t want to comment on it”, said Roberts who many political pundits believe is not happy with the manner in which the former NDC General Secretary has been distancing himself from NUF.
However on Tuesday night, David told his endorsement ceremony that he did call Roberts and several others to notify them of his decision to join the NNP ranks.
Like Roberts and Joseph, Lowe who has been closely aligned with David for over 40 years on the political battlefield, has declined to comment on the latest political sojourn of his close friend.
Lowe was always considered to be in the pro-David camp and among those who were opposed to former Finance Minister Nazim Burke who has since taken over the leadership of Congress.
This newspaper was unable to make contact with boisterous trade unionist, Chester Humphrey, an expelled member of NDC like David and eight others and one who is considered to be a major strategist for the former NDC General Secretary.
The NEW TODAY was told that Humphrey was ill and did not want to be disturbed.
David has been involved in the politics of Grenada from since the 1970’s as a member of the left-leaning and now defunct New Jewel Movement (NJM) of late Prime Minister Maurice Bishop.
He was considered to be a supporter of the hardline faction of the NJM, led by former deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard that moved against Bishop in October 1983 resulting in the death of the then Prime Minister.
With the collapse of the Grenada Revolution, David left the country for North America to study law before returning home to help set up Ciboney Chambers, a law firm, along with three other prominent figures in the revolutionary days.
He returned to frontline politics to help in the rebuilding of NDC in the aftermath of its massive defeats in the 1999 general elections and was soon elected to the top post of General Secretary.
In a press release issued Tuesday, the NNP informed the nation that the endorsement of David as a new member of the party was in keeping with the promise made by its Political Leader, Prime Minister Mitchell to unite the country through inclusion.
“The Nation would recall that one of the promises the Political Leader of the New National Party, Dr. The Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, made to the people of Grenada during the Elections campaign was that he intends to unite the nation through the process of including all Grenadians who wish to make a serious contribution to the development of our country, irrespective of their political affiliation.
“Mr. Peter David, a former General Secretary and senior member of the NDC Party has therefore answered that call of inclusion so as to make his contribution toward National Unity and development with the Team of the New National Party.
“The Political Leader and the entire Executive of the New National Party all join in extending a warm welcome to Mr. David on this historic occasion.”
Meanwhile, an NNP insider confided in this newspaper that David would be put in charge of the party’s political work in St. Patrick’s.
He said there is a strong possibility that the two incumbent NNP Candidates in the area – Education Minister Anthony Boatswain (St. Patrick West) and Clifton Paul (St. Patrick East) might not be offered in the next general election and David will be used to help control the ground for the ruling party.
Speculation is rife within NNP quarters that the female owner on an estate in St. Patrick is being groomed as a replacement for Paul.