Female attorney-at-law, Karen Samuel could become the next candidate for the ruling New National Party (NNP) in the rural St. Andrew North-east constituency in the upcoming general election.
Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that Samuel, who does not live in the constituency, was present at a party meeting Tuesday night in which the incumbent, Youth Minister, Roland Bhola announced that he was bowing out of frontline politics.
The meeting was reportedly held at the Tivoli Sacred Heart R.C School in the heart of the constituency.
Hours before the meeting, this newspaper called Samuel’s law office to ask her about reports circulating concerning an approach by the NNP but she responded through her office secretary that she was not available to take calls.
The reports suggest that former Congress General Secretary and now top member of NNP, attorney-at-law, Peter David was the one who approached Samuel to contest the seat for the ruling party.
David is said to be on a mission to destroy the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) which expelled him from the party in September 2012.
The anti-David forces both within the NNP and outside of the party are beginning to get concerned about his growing influence within the ruling party.
“Peter seems to be running the show”, remarked a top NNP activist.
Aging 70-year old Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has been hinting for years now that he is into the “sunset” years of his life in politics and was looking to bow out.
Bhola has been the MP for the constituency since 2003 and was once looked at as a possible replacement for PM Mitchell as political leader of the NNP.
Reports had been circulating for the past year that the MP, a major land owner and farmer in St. Andrew North-east, is not keen on running for a 4th term in office.
NNP activists were known to be “courting” Bertrand John known by many in the area as BJ to replace Bhola.
Attorney Samuel was born in the Tivoli area of the constituency but now resides at Bay Gardens in the St. George South-east constituency.
Her mother lives in the constituency while her father was a former Manager of the Grenada Ports Authority (GPA) for many years.
Prime Minister Mitchell told a public meeting in Snug Corner junction on Sunday night that the party will announce its caretaker for Bhola’s constituency by the next two weeks.
He announced that caretakers will also be identified at the same time for St. Andrew North-west, St. Andrew South-west, St. John, and Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
The NNP has already released the names of five caretakers for the upcoming general election – St. George South-east (Gregory Bowen), Town of St. George (Peter David), South St. George (Nickolas Steele), St. Patrick East (Pamela Moses), and St. Andrew South-east (Emmalin Pierre).
Dr. Mitchell also told the party supporters at the public meeting to get ready as the elections will be called “very soon”.
This is the first positive hint that Grenadians might be called upon to go back to the polls before year-end.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Congress told THE NEW TODAY that “NNP Agents” had approached their candidate for St. Andrew North-east, Terry Hillaire offering him a brand new vehicle and cash to switch sides.
Hillaire reportedly told NDC Leader, Nazim Burke that the approaches were made by an attorney-at-law and a former schoolteacher who are both known activists of the ruling party.