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Clouden lashes out at Peter David

Attorney Anslem Clouden – was brutal in his attack on his legal colleague

I am sorry for Peter – he has lost his political compass.

Those words were uttered by longstanding attorney-at-law Anselm Clouden to describe his colleague in the profession Peter David, the former Agriculture Minister in the 2018-22 New National Party (NNP) government of Dr. Keith Mitchell.

Clouden was appearing on the “Ridealong” programme hosted by New York-based Grenadian Junior George which focused on the decision of David to abstain on a vote in Parliament on Tuesday on a government motion to increase the penalties for persons caught with illegal firearms.

According to Clouden, he is very reluctant to chastise David as the two of them were in Ottawa, Canada together some years ago where they both studied law.

He said he was once an admirer of David when he was a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and served as its General Secretary and Minister of Foreign Affairs until he was expelled from the party in 2012 as he was identified as the leader of a faction in the regime that wanted to unseat then Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.

“To have abstained on a vote like this …. on a bill of paramount importance to the nation and the nation you have legitimate expectations to rule, come on man,” he remarked.

This is an obvious reference to David’s declared intention to replace the aging Keith Mitchell as the Political Leader of NNP whenever the party holds a convention.

Mitchell has reportedly vowed that David will not be his successor as party boss and is believed to favour attorney-at-law Dwight Horsford, who is due back home shortly from a stint in Anguilla as Attorney-General of the British dependency to take over as head of the party.

Speculation is rife that former Education Minister Emmalin Pierre is getting the support of Mitchell and his second in command, former Works Minister Gregory Bowen to become the Deputy Political Leader of the NNP.

In his scathing attack on David for abstaining on the vote in Parliament, Clouden referred to a recent speech delivered by the current Member of Parliament for the Town of St George at the recent funeral service for executed gangster Von “Wangy” Cyrus in which he called for an end to gun violence in the country.

He recalled that David also insinuated at the height of the gun violence in which three persons were killed after being shot in the head in warfare between two rival gangs from the South of the island and the Carenage/4-Roads alliance that he had the ability to bring them together to broker a peace accord.

The attorney slammed David as one who did not even have “the guts” in Parliament to support the government bill but chose to abstain on the vote.

He said he was not just surprised at David’s position on the bill in Parliament but was very much “disappointed” in him on the actual vote.

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“Pedro has gone too far now to even consider representing the Town of St George. He has lost all credibility,” he added.

David and Member of Parliament for St Mark Dr Clarice Modeste-Curwen abstained on the vote while Pierre, the MP for St Andrew South-east was the lone opposition member who voted against the bill.

Former Prime Minister Keith Mitchell who made a brief appearance in Parliament did not vote as he left the sitting early to attend a function in his St George North-west constituency.

The other opposition MP in the Lower House of Parliament, St Andrew North-east representative Kate Lewis was absent.

Clouden contended that former Prime Minister Keith Mitchell was able “to manipulate” David and Chester Humphrey, his close political colleague in the days of the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution who served under Keith Mitchell as President of the Senate.

He brushed them aside as persons who the ex-Grenadian Leader and NNP Political Leader was able to use as he had them where he wanted them.

Clouden expressed fears that continued gun-related killings in Grenada will affect the key tourism sector, as well as upcoming festivals like Carnival and generally the get-together of people in a social setting.

“This thing could be rampant if not controlled and all hands should be on deck to support our Prime Minister to get this climate of crime under control or else we will be falling in the same category as Trinidad & Tobago, St Lucia and Jamaica,” he said.

He noted that Jamaica was forced to resort to the establishment of a gun court “to try people instantly” for gun-related offences as a measure to deal with the crime situation.

Jamaica, he said, was forced “to put them away” as these criminals became a menace to society and were affecting “public security.”

In supporting the government bill, Clouden pointed out that the Grenada Constitution guarantees security of a person and it is the obligation of a government to ensure that its citizens are secured.

“So I support this government bill wholeheartedly,” he said.

The outspoken attorney-at-law also called for the speedy trial of persons caught with illegal firearms in the country in order to bring the matter to an end as quickly as possible and in such a manner that the issue of bail does not come into play.

He said the law provides for a person to be held on remand at the Richmond Hill prison for 14 days in the first instance and that the next hearing should be the one for the matter to be dealt with in its totality.

The NNP is said to be concerned with an aspect of the bill that calls for the sitting Magistrate to deny bail to anyone caught with illegal firearms in their possession after the gun amnesty expires on July 31.

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