By Lloyd Noel
The clean-sweep political leader, and now prime minister of our tri-island state, has since the victory appointed his twelve ministers of government to take control of the nation’s administration – for as long as he sees fit in the months and years ahead of his party in power.
Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator
Up to the time of writing this article last weekend, only four senators had been sworn in for the Upper House of Parliament, so it is hoped that by the time you are reading this, the senate appointments will be in place.
One or two of the ministerial appointments have raised eyebrows – especially that of the minister of education, MP of St Patrick’s West, Anthony Boatswain.
But the prime minister is the leader in charge and, since he had decided from the night of the election results that he was going to be finance minister among others, he had to find a position for his very long-standing senior minister of finance of the thirteen years before 2008.
How that appointment would work itself out, only time will tell – but that very crucial ministry of education, will be on the public agenda for particular attention in the times ahead because, from all accounts and reports pertaining to that particular ministry, in the four and a half years of the last government the ex-NDC minister Franka Bernadine was credited as having done a very commendable job in that ministry for the kids and education.
As for the other ministries – especially where there are new political first-timers taking over control in these trying times – again only time, and how the newcomers apply themselves in their very unaccustomed setting as politicians rather than businessmen or women, their attitude and outlook will be determined in the years ahead.
And as we slowly get things moving since the election three weeks ago, there are rumours making the rounds that one or two of those who were expelled from the NDC last year, and who were encouraging people in their respective constituencies to vote NNP in the just concluded election, have approached the executive to take them back on board.
I fail to see the rationale in such approaches, but I suppose they have their private agenda.
It could also be that, as we mourn the passing of the Venezuela President Hugo Chavez – at the fairly tender age of 58 – close buddies who had a whole lot of regard and respect for him as a socialist operator may very well be thinking it is much better to be mending bridges than breaking them down – hence the call for forgiveness.
However the late president was regarded by people who did not share his political outlook and philosophy, he was a generous benefactor to our tri-island state and the OECS as a whole, and we must mourn his loss and send sincere condolences to his family and the people of Venezuela – who have truly lost a dedicated and sincere leader – may his soul rest in peace.
Whatever maybe the reasons for some of the expelled members getting back into good graces with the party majority, those still in control of the party machinery would have to assess the same and decide where they go from here on into the dark future.
As for the new government and party in control, after that landslide victory that gained for them absolute authority over all aspects of the nation’s affairs, the new leaders have to ensure that their actions and decisions are such so that the people do not perceive them as being revengeful or spiteful. The days for scoring petty political points must be relegated to the ancient dustbins.
In the ministry for national security, which involves the police service, we have already seen some unusual happenings pertaining to the position of commissioner of police.
The prime minister has indicated that he was not very comfortable with the office-holder, Commissioner of Police Willan Thompson, and he has now gone on 257 days leave with full pay; while the ex- commissioner of police Winston James has been re-appointed to fill the post for however long down the road.
I doubt very much that all heads of the various government departments are more in favour of the current prime minister than they were of the ex-prime minister – but it would be sheer nonsense to change all those who are not in favour of the new prime minister.
The prime minister and his party has already stamped their authority on the nation’s political landscape by their resounding clean sweep at the polls and all that is left to be done in the months and years ahead can only be to convince those who voted for NDC, to be ready and prepared to vote NNP the next time around -- based on creditable and above-board performances, rather than spitefulness and revengeful intolerance.