The Keith Mitchell-led Administration in St. George’s has lost the services of three of the nation’s young professionals since its clean sweep of all 15 seats in the March 13 general election.
The first to break rank was Attorney-at-law, Derick Sylvester who stepped down as Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC) against the backdrop of reports in some quarters of the country about strained relations with Prime Minister Mitchell.
Another person to signal his intention to quit the government led by the ageing 71-year old Mitchell is Solicitor-General Dwight Horsford who is taking up an assignment in Anguilla in October as the island’s Attorney-General.
THE NEW TODAY has now been given sight of a letter from sources within the Foreign Affairs Ministry in which Ambassador Dr. Patrick Antoine has decided to end his relationship with Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and the ruling New National Party (NNP) Administration.
There have been reports in recent years of strained relations between Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Antoine following the NNP victory at the polls in the 2013 elections.
A reliable source told this newspaper that Prime Minister Mitchell fired the first shot when he accused Dr. Antoine of not being faithful to him and indicated that he had picked up information that the Ambassador had been sympathetic to the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the March 13 poll.
Another official within the Foreign Affairs Ministry said that newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David had also raised with Dr. Antoine reports circulating that he was forging a relationship with the Congress Party.
Dr. Antoine is said to have brushed aside the allegations on the grounds that he was too busy to be thinking of any such thing.
“I understand that the Prime Minister told Dr. Antoine that he (Dr. Mitchell) had lost confidence in him and told him that he was taking away two of the four positions that ‘Pat’ was holding doing for the government and people of Grenada”, he remarked.
The positions were identified as Caricom Ambassador and the other being that of Trade Councilor to neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago.
It is felt that Dr. Antoine has now hit back by sending in a letter of resignation from not only the two positions cited, but from all positions held with the Mitchell-led government.
Following are excerpts from a letter dated August 5, 2018 on the subject, “Resignation from all positions with Government of Grenada” that Dr. Antoine had sent to PM Mitchell.
The letter which was provided from a reliable source within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also copied to Caricom Affairs Minister, Oliver Joseph and Foreign Minister David.
Dear Prime Minister,
“As you are aware, I have had the honour of serving our Country in the positions of Strategic Policy Advisor, Ambassador to World Trade Organisation (WTO), Commissioner to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and, Trade and Economic Commissioner to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, for the past five years and four months.
“Having considered my personal and professional goals and interests, I hereby submit to you, as Head of Government, my resignation from these various positions. It is my wish to have the resignation take effect in one month from the date of this letter but in the event that this proves inconvenient, no later than September 4th, 2018.
“I would wish to do nothing which would reflect negatively on my continuing commitment to the advancement of the interests of the People of Grenada. I therefore wish to assure you that I am available to effect a smooth transition with respect to the several matters in which I am presently engaged. I wish also to place at the disposal of the People of Grenada, my professional experience and skills in the areas of my expertise.”
“I take this opportunity to extend my thanks to the Members of the Government as well as the Public Servants and others with whom I have worked over the past years. Any contribution that I have been able to make has occurred in partnership with these persons and I am grateful to have had the chance to stand with them in the trenches.
I close by reaffirming my commitment to assisting the People of Grenada in the difficult development process confronting Small States in the global economy currently.”
THE NEW TODAY has picked up information that Dr. Antoine, a lecturer at the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados of the University of the West Indies (UWI)and an International Trade Expert has finally decided to move onto “other pastures”.