Tobias Clement seems to be fully in charge of his St. George North-east constituency.
According to well-placed sources, Clement who scored a shocking victory in the 2013 general election with an upset over the incumbent Minister of Finance, Nazim Burke has been assured by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell that he is the party’s candidate in the next general election.
A source close to Clement told this newspaper that the MP was forced to raise the issue of his status in the constituency following reports that attorney-at-law, Peter David, the former General Secretary of the main opposition Congress party, might replace him.
David has also taken up residence in “The Coconut” area of Mt. Parnassus, helping to fuel reports that he had moved in as part of the move to unseat Clement.
The source said that the sitting MP was recently confronted by a member of the constituency during one of his recent visits to a village when he was asked to clarify whether or not he was the NNP candidate for the area.
“Mr. Clement had visited a lady in her house and she told him straight to the face that she was confused as to whether or not he was the candidate because she was hearing that he was being replaced by Peter David”, he told this newspaper.
“Mr. Clement decided to ask the PM (Mitchell) to clarify this thing and he (Clement) said that he was told by the big man in a meeting as far as he knows that he (Clement) was the candidate”, he said.
Clement was seen in the company of the Prime Minister at a recent indoor meeting organized by NNP in the Vendome area.
The source said that the current MP has been doing his work in St. George North-east with a clear understanding that “he is the man and not Peter David”.
The controversial David wAho now holds the position of Deputy General Secretary of NNP, has already announced that he will be a candidate in the next general election constitutionally due in 2018.
A member of the media asked him recently which constituency he would be contesting and David replied: “That was not yet decided upon by the party”.
David has been a two-time MP for the Town of St. George following victories on Congress tickets in 2003 and 2008.
He did not contest the 2013 general elections after he and eight others were expelled from NDC after a protracted battle for control of the party from then Prime Minister and Political Leader, Tillman Thomas.
After his expulsion, David’s name was associated with the National United Front (NUF) as its political leader but he did not join the group and the leadership was given to Glynis Roberts, one of the expelled member of Congress.
His close aides are known to favour David returning to the Town of St. George now held by Health Minister, Nickolas Steele.
THE NEW TODAY also understands that embattled NNP Member of Parliament for St. Patrick East, Clifton Paul is allegedly backing out on commitments given to his party leader to make way for a new candidate for the upcoming general election.
A party insider told this newspaper that Paul is seemingly taking a different position following talks held with some member of the constituency including a top businessman in St. Patrick.
NNP activists in the rural constituency have been talking about two possible replacements – one is a former Head Mistress of a secondary school and the other a former employee of River Antoine Estate.