Former General Secretary with the main opposition, National Democratic Congress (NDC), Peter David has landed an organising role within the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell that he once waged a bitter battle against.
David, a government Senator in the Upper House of Parliament, was elected at Sunday’s annual party convention as Assistant General Secretary to serve under Agriculture Minister, Roland Bhola, the current Member of Parliament for St. Andrew North-east.
Sen. David is replacing, Foreign Affairs Minister, Clarice Modeste-Curwen in the party position.
Modeste-Curwen is taking over the position previously held by former Minister of State for Implementation, Kenny Lalsingh who was not surprisingly removed from the post of Deputy Chairman of NNP.
Party insiders told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that Lalsingh’s downfall followed complaints allegedly received first hand by Prime Minister Mitchell from a business associate in neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago who had contributed financially to the NNP electoral victory in the 2013 polls.
During Sunday’s party convention held at the Westerhall Secondary School (WSS), one other change made to the NNP executive is the election of Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator Simon Steele to take over from the long-standing Terrence Forrester as Public Relations Officer of the party.
In past years, Prime Minister Mitchell has often turned to Forrester
to engage in frontline PR work for the party whenever general elections are imminent.
The controversial David was given an opportunity to address his first ever post-Convention rally held by NNP on the playing ground of the nearby Westerhall playing field.
The former Captain in the ill-fated People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) during the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution who is now an attorney-at-law by profession told party supporters that the executive put in place earlier in the day would be the stepping-stone to another clean 15-0 election win at the polls for the ruling party.
“This extremely successful convention of your party, of my party, the New National Party has led the organisational foundation for a resounding victory in the next General Election. I have said time and time again that I feel sure that next election is another 15”, he told NNP’ites amidst loud cheers.
David, who was expelled from Congress in September 2012 following a bitter feud with then Prime Minister and party leader, Tillman Thomas for control of the NDC thanked the rival NNP supporters for the faith they have shown in him especially at the Convention.
“I am fired up for this new journey and I am determined, as determined as you are to ensure that this party and this Government succeed because we know the NNP is the best and only hope for Grenada at this time,” he said.
David is said to have taken a number of his backers with him into the NNP. Among them are former NDC Chairman, Colin La Barrie, and former Works Minister, Joseph Gilbert.
Repeating his frequent call for an end to “tribal politics” in Grenada, the former Foreign Affairs Minister who has already declared that he will be a candidate in the next general election, reiterated that “the era of them versus us is over” and it should now be considered as “every one together”.
“We must find it within us to extend a hand to everyone. Even people who see things differently, people who we disagree with, for Grenada would never achieve its full potential if we stay divided”, he told the rally.
“… When we move to intensify the organisation, when we move to put our Constituency groups in place, when we move to attract new members, it (is) not just a movement for the party in and of itself. When we move, it is part of a broader mission to work for and behalf of all the people, to give them hope and opportunity and to give them a better life and this party is best placed to be at the forefront of this push because of its history and because of …. the leader,” he
David who once traveled to the U.S to garner support to try and bring down Mitchell as PM in the height of the US$ 500, 000.00 Switzerland Briefcase scandal inquiry in the 2003-08 period, has now endorsed the Grenadian leader in these tough economic times as the best Captain to lead the Ship of State.
“He (Mitchell) is not a perfect human being but he is more capable, more caring, more concerned about the Grenadian people than of the others who are desperate to get back into Government. They have shown that all they care about its themselves and you know why I know that because I was there,” he exclaimed.
This is seen as a clear attack on Congress leader, Nazim Burke who was a former revolutionary figure with the new NNP Assistant General Secretary in the days of the Grenada Revolution.
Burke who has taken over from Thomas as Congress leader, did not back David in the party showdown which contributed significantly to the party’s 15-0 whipping at the polls in February 2013.
David also thanked the members of the NNP for allowing him a smooth
transition into the party and welcoming him with open arms.
This is the third political party that David has been associated with
since his foray into local politics since the early 1970’s.
The ex-member of the now defunct Marxist-oriented New Jewel Movement
(NJM) joined the NDC after its first 15-0 defeat at the polls in 1999
and now with NP.
A few days leading up to the convention , there was widespread
reports circulating in the country that David was earmarked to replace
Minister for Carriacou & Petite Martinique Affairs, Elvin Nimrod as
the Deputy Political Leader of the NNP and as a possible successor to
A party insider said that “the old guards” are not in favour of David
taking charge of their party and had been quietly mobilising delegates
to attend the convention to oppose from the floor any such move to
give the Number Two party post to the former NDC General Secretary.