Thursday, April 18, 2024

Grenada’s tourism minister resigns

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UPDATE: ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – Peter David who today resigned as Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture Minister is hinting at the possibility of others joining the exodus from the four year-old Grenada government.
“This is a matter of conscience which I felt I must act on, and will leave it up to other cabinet colleagues who have been similarly maligned and unjustly characterized to deal with it on their own way,” he told reporters at a hastily called news conference.
There has been much speculation that the main opposition New National Party (NNP) is planning to move a vote of no confidence in the Tillman Thomas administration that has been plagued by infighting since it won the 2008 general election by an 11-4 margin.
A number of government ministers have either resigned or dismissed and last week, Information Minister Glen Noel in a video posted on the social networking site, Facebook, accused some of his colleagues of seeking to overthrow the 66-year-old prime minister.
“My withdrawal therefore affords the Prime Minister the opportunity to mould a cabinet with members he feels he can trust or who will tell him the things he approve,” said David, warning “it is clear that this entire matter is becoming too much of a distraction and this gathering cloud of uncertainty is hampering the economic and social development of Grenada”.
David, who refused to take questions from the media, said that he would make a comprehensive statement when he addresses his constituents in the town of St. George on Thursday.
There has been no public statement by Prime Minister Thomas on this latest development.
Over the weekend, five senior members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), said they were “working hard” to mend the party’s expanding rift, possibly by “shedding” some dissident members.
“We give every assurance that as senior, long-standing and committed members of the party we are working hard to find a solution,” they said in a statement.
“It may mean the emergence of an NDC that may have to shed some individuals who refuse to abide by the democratic principles which govern the way we carry out the business of the party,” the elders said, adding “we recognize that polarisation has set in and while the party is functioning according to the democratic norms enshrined in its constitution, there are others in the party who are on a divergent course”.
The NDC is due to hold its annual convention on July 8.
David told reporters he was “pushed” into submitting his resignation, blaming the video broadcast by Noel for the situation.
“I was pushed into having to take this decision after the Prime Minister refused to accept the proposal that the Minister of Information retract public comments that sought to bring the party and government into disrepute,’’ David said, adding that “many people have seen the online video where incendiary and unbecoming comments, almost bordering on slander were levelled against me and other cabinet colleagues.
“The record is there to show that, in spite of repeated provocations and a well-orchestrated smear campaign against my name, until now I have said nothing publicly on the issues at hand,’’ David said, adding “however within the last week the situation became untenable with the publication of the comments by the Minister that was made in the presence of Prime Minister Thomas and Minister of Finance Nazim Burke.
“Given their presence, and their subsequent stance Monday when the issue was brought up, it is now clearer that the comments were made with their tacit approval,” David said, adding that he would remain Member of Parliament for the Town of St. George and NDC general secretary. (CMC)

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