Category: Grenada Created on Saturday, 28 April 2012 08:50
A video recording, in which allegations of conspiracy to “seize power” in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Grenada are made against party officials and parliamentarians, was not intended for release to the public, Information Minister Glen Noel said on Wednesday.
The allegations of a conspiracy to “remove” Prime Minister Tillman Thomas as leader of the NDC were made by Noel himself as he addressed a group in the St Patrick West constituency on Sunday.
“The time is coming when you have to speak the truth,” Noel said in the video, which has been posted on Facebook and various internet news sites.
Described by organizers as “Solidarity Sunday Meetings,” they have excluded most of the senior executive of the NDC and a majority of the party’s Members of Parliament. Consistent meeting participants have included Noel, who is also a former NDC chairman; NDC leader and Grenada’s prime minister, Tillman Thomas; and the party’s deputy leader, Finance Minister Nazim Burke.
Noel, who lost the party’s chairmanship at last year’s NDC convention, said his defeat and that of other members was part of an orchestrated plan that involved people such as general secretary and minister for tourism, Peter David; Labour Minister Glynis Roberts; Social Development Minister Sylvester Quarless; and former minister of works, Joseph Gilbert.
“The last convention was a fight and a struggle because Peter David had a team and a side – Peter David, Joe Gilbert, Glynis Roberts, Sylvester Quarless. All of them were part of one team that was trying to ensure that at the end of the day, they had a team of persons to control the executive,” Noel said. “And once they control the executive, they believe they can control the political leader and take control of the party.”
Noel, interviewed by a local TV station about his videotaped comments of infighting and conspiracy in the NDC, claimed that the remarks were intended for party members and supporters who had asked questions from the floor of the meeting.
The comments were “not meant for the public domain,” said Noel, adding that he had no knowledge who recorded and released the tape.
Noel said he stood by the “truthfulness” of his remarks but did not want to continue what he referred to as the “viral trend” that has followed in the wake of the publication of the video.
“I do not believe in washing dirty linen in public,” Noel said.
Grenadian journalist and commentator Hamlet Mark, who worked on the NDC’s successful 2008 general election campaign, said Noel was “at his disingenuous and mischievous best” in the speech delivered at Sunday’s meeting.
To understand Noel’s comments “is to understand that as far as he sees it – and rightfully so – his only means of survival is hitched with Tillman Thomas’ political survival,” Marks writes in his latest blog on Caribupdate News.
“Having cast his lot with the driver of a runaway train, Noel will have to valiantly ride it until it crashes – and hopefully for Grenada – it's sooner, rather than later,” Mark further argues.
According to Mark, “there is a rebellion inside the NDC but it is not against Tillman Thomas’ leadership per se.” It is, in Mark’s words, “against a fumbling, mumbling creeping dictatorship borne in stubbornness and hypocrisy and garnished with a frightening ineptness; made worse by a government proverbially fiddling while our Rome burns.”
Prime Minister Thomas, who was the guest on a Wednesday evening television show, was asked about the allegations of conspiracy against him that were made by Noel.
He said he had seen “certain attempts to undermine” his leadership, and accused some NDC members of having a “central committee mentality” that tries to direct the prime minister.
Thomas accused unnamed NDC members of being “preoccupied” with getting Grenada to become part of the Venezuela-backed ALBA grouping, and with the setting up of casino in the country.
“They want a prime minister who will support casinos,” said Thomas.
The problem, as Thomas explains it, is with those who are not adhering to the values on which the party was voted into office – good governance, transparency, accountability, respect for institutions, and integrity in public life.
“The Grenadian people support the NDC and its values,” said Thomas, who also indicated that he has no intention of relinquishing his leadership.
“This is not the right time,” he said. “I have to champion the cause of the Grenadian people.
Picture credit to Caribjournal
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