ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- No politician in recent Grenada political history has won the Town of St George seat on three consecutive occasions. But lawyer Peter David is attempting to buck the trend and already has some high profile public support.
“Peter David is a man of working people and a real lover of working people,” said trade unionist Chester Humphrey.
Humphrey, who is the labour representative in the senate, has declared “open and full support” for David, who has been parliamentary representative for the Town since 2003, when he first was elected to the Lower House. He retained the seat in polling in 2008.
Humphrey’s declaration was made to a packed audience of Grenadians from various constituencies, including current and former members of National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, as well as party supporters and members.
“For all those who have been wondering, let me make this abundantly clear: I am running once again to be the Member of Parliament for the Town of St George,” David said to standing ovation.
“I am running again because of the trust and confidence you have shown in me,” he explained. “I am running again because too many of our people still do not have a decent job or a stable means of survival.”
Former Senator Arley Gill, who chaired the meeting, described it as “another significant moment in the political history of Grenada.”
Gill, who was key campaign strategist and one of the most visible spokespersons for the NDC during its successful 2008 general election campaign, was relieved of his senatorial position in May.
He was replaced by Dr George Vincent, who was appointed Minister of Tourism and Culture following the April 30 resignation from government of David.
In recalling the elections of four years ago, David said “there is no man who worked harder than him (Gill) in that campaign of 2008.”
Another general election is due in Grenada by 2013 and Gill has pledged his backing for David in the MP’s re-election bid.
“I will be pelting stones on behalf of Charles Peter David,” said Gill.
According to Gill, David has been “the main target of a certain section of the NDC” over the past four year.
However, David “continues to hold his head high and walk with dignity,” Gill said.
He called David a “humble and able servant,” saying the former tourism and foreign affairs minister “has never challenged Tillman Thomas as prime minister and as political leader of the NDC.”
David, in his address to the meeting, advocated unity and an end to political tribalism. It is for this reason, he said, he will not run for office at the NDC’s September 30 annual convention. David has been the party’s general secretary for more than a decade.
“I – Charles Peter David – don't want any part of tearing this nation further apart,” David said. “People are hurting too much. So our mission going forward is for us to invest in unity; not division. September 30, brothers and sisters, will do nothing to advance the cause for unity.”
Prime Minister Thomas, as NDC leader, has been informed “that I will not be offering myself again for the position of general secretary or any other position on the executive of the party for that matter,” David said.
“I am satisfied with my work as general secretary,” he added. “When I was given the mandate in 2001, along with some very hardworking comrades, the party had no seats in the parliament. We quickly moved from zero to seven and then to 11 in 2008. Under my tenure the NDC achieved its biggest growth and had its most successful parliamentary run in its history.”
Grenada, David said, is at the “edge of a fiscal cliff”’ that has been partly caused by “bad economic policies and unenlightened politics”.
He has recommended that “a great deal of our efforts should be directed at wooing foreign investors to our country and building stronger relations with diverse countries and organizations in order to mobilize financing for investment”.
As well, “there is also an urgent need to adopt a more friendly posture toward foreign direct investment and foreign investors to increase our prospect of job creation. We need to restore confidence and create a better investment climate,” David said.
MP David also appealed for a reconvening of parliament, which has been in recess for the past several weeks.
Former Foreign Minister Karl Hood has filed a motion of no-confidence against the government and it could be debated at the next sitting of parliament.
“The people have long gone back to work after the carnival. As MPs we must also go back to work,” said David.
“It is my view that the motion presently before the parliament should be given the opportunity to be debated in the House of Representatives,” he said.
“While I have not had a chance to view the motion, it is my understanding that it focuses on the economy. Some people might argue that maybe we have all lost that authority to speak for people. So then if this is the case, let us all seek a new mandate.”