Published On: Wed, Oct 3rd, 2012

Grenada ruling party expels senior members

ST GEORGE'S, Grenada - Caribbean News Now reports that Grenada's ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), which has been in turmoil since forming the government in 2008, has expelled its general secretary and several other senior party members.

The expulsion took place at Sunday’s annual convention of the party, which won 11 of 15 seats at the polls four years ago.

MP Peter David, who has been general secretary for more than a decade, had announced early in September that he would not be seeking reelection to the NDC executive.

David, who resigned as tourism minister in April, is a parliamentary backbencher and MP for the Town of St George.

Four other former NDC cabinet ministers, who now are also backbenchers in the House of Representatives, were among several others expelled from the party Sunday. None was at the convention.

The expulsion decision came shortly after acting chairman, Stanford Simon, was thrown out of the convention, journalist Rawle Titus said in one of the earliest reports from the convention.

“NDC supporters voted overwhelmingly for Pastor Simon to be removed after executive member Vincent Roberts moved a motion calling for his expulsion,” reported Titus, who is president of the Media Workers Association of Grenada.

“The highly anticipated NDC convention, postponed from July, begun with a tinge of controversy as Simon arrived to jeers from some party members.”

Another early report was posted on the government-friendly, grenadabroadcast.com website.

It said the expulsion of David and others occurred “as the National Democratic Congress embarks on an uphill battle to rebuild its party structure following an apparent failed coupe effort by a faction of the party led by former Tourism and Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David.”

According to the grenadabroadcast report, “Today's developments came as no surprise to many, as supporters of Thomas responded to an offensive launched by David to capture control of the executive of the party – a move which has generated much political uncertainty for Grenada over the past year.”

The officers elected to the NDC’s executive on Sunday include Education Minister Franka Bernardine, who is the new chairman.

“It’s a new day for us in NDC,” Bernardine said at a rally that followed a morning closed-door session that included the election of officers.

Another NDC executive member is former general secretary, businessman Kent Joseph, who is the new deputy chairman.

Another businessman and former government minister, Phinsley St Louis, is one of two trustees.

Information Minister Glen Noel replaced former Senator Arley Gill as public relations officer.

Gill was among those expelled from the NDC at the convention.

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