Otway-Noel seeking political reprieve

Resigned Minister of Implementation in the Keith Mitchell Administration in St. George’s Member of Parliament for South St. George, Alexandra Otway-Noel appears to be seeking political reprieve for the action she took earlier this year to quit government.

Otway-Noel issued a statement on her facebook page on January 16, announcing her sudden resignation from government to “pursue a number of exciting opportunities in the private sector.”

The move came against the backdrop of reports that Prime Minister Mitchell was not happy with her and was looking to replace her as a candidate in the upcoming general election.

However, since her resignation, parliament has never met, and the former Government Minister used the meeting of the Lower House of Parliament last week Tuesday to speak of her resignation.

Otway-Noel told her parliamentary colleagues when she left her post as a Minister of Government she did so with the utmost respect and commitment to Prime Minister Mitchell and the government.

“Let there be no doubt that this government has my full support, and I continue to stand behind the clear vision and assist in the onward and upward trajectory that this government has been providing for our nation,” she said.

Otway-Noel gave a commitment to continue supporting her constituency.

“Let me further reaffirm my commitment to the people of South St. George, and as far as I’m concerned that I will never walk away from them… They are the reason I got involved in all this in the first place… to make a positive impact,” she stated.

The South St. George Parliamentarian told the House that she now has more time to dedicate to her constituents, and they are using the opportunity to get more involved in projects around the constituency.

“I promise to humbly represent them without fear or favour in this Honourable House, and do so with the usual passion and dedication until such time that it is decided that my service to this nation in this capacity is no longer required,” she said.

Political observers believe that the statement delivered by Otway-Noel seems to indicate that she is still willing to contest the next General Elections on a ticket of the ruling New National Party in the upcoming poll.

Government insiders told THE NEW TODAY that this is only wishful thinking by Otway-Noel as the top brass in the party has decided behind “closed doors” to replace her with Health Minister, Nicholas Steele who is the current MP for the Town of St. George.

According to a usually reliable source, the shifting of Steele will make way for attorney-at-law, Peter David, the former controversial General Secretary of Congress to contest the poll in the city.

The source also hinted that Youth and Sports Minister Roland Bhola might not be back on the ballot for the St. Andrew North-east seat in the general election and the person tipped to replace him is Bertrand John, known in the area as “BJ”.

He said that despite the opposition in some NNP quarters to the aging Elvin Nimrod, the party intends to “keep faith with him” as the choice candidate for the poll.

Although general elections are constitutionally due by June 2018, speculation is rife that Prime Minister Mitchell might call it sometime between May and June.

The NNP controls all 15 seats in Parliament and is confident of another clean sweep again to leave the island without an elected opposition member in the Lower House.

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