Former Education Minister Emmalin Pierre has said that she is not interested in the job of Political Leader of the main opposition New National Party (NNP) of the ageing 76-year old Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The Member of Parliament for the St Andrew South-east constituency made the comment in light of friction within the party over the desire of former Agriculture Minister Peter David to replace Dr. Mitchell as the new political boss.
The former minister was responding to a question posed by a caller on her being overlooked for the top position after spending so many years as a member of the party.
“I have absolutely no interest at this time in becoming the leader of the New National Party,” she said.
Pierre is a close ally of the defeated Prime Minister since her entry into local politics at the 2008 general election.
David, the current Deputy General Secretary of the party has made known his intention to challenge for the post of party leader.
Dr. Mitchell is known to be opposed to the former General Secretary in the rival Congress party succeeding him as Political Leader of NNP.
David suffered a major blow in the past few days when one of his allies, Member of Parliament for St Andrew North-west Delma Thomas resigned as a member of the NNP following a spat with Dr. Mitchell.
However, he is said to have the support of former Mitchell allies, Dr. Bert Brathwaite and Dr. Lawrence Joseph, the former President of the Senate.
Another pro-Peter David backer is Kennedy Budhlall who played a key role in recruiting delegates for Mitchell in his victory over late Prime Minister Herbert Blaize for the post of Political Leader of NNP at the 1989 convention.
Speculation is rife that the Keith Mitchell camp is poised to capture all the voting delegates at the upcoming convention from Thomas’ constituency with her departure from the party.
Over the years, Dr. Mitchell has maintained an iron-fist control of the NNP and has told close aides that he intends to crush David and his political ambitions at the convention.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the former Prime Minister is holding talks with two local attorneys-at-law Derick Sylvester and Dwight Horsford as the choice candidate for the top position in the party.
NNP insiders close to Dr. Mitchell have rejected claims from the Peter David Camp that they are in control of most of the constituencies around the island and are confident that the candidate of their choice will prevail whenever the annual convention is held to elect a new party boss.
David played a key role in helping Mitchell return to power in the 2013 general election when he led a revolt by a group of Ministers in the Congress government of then Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
He and several others were expelled from the party and in general elections held months later the NNP swept to victory by winning all 15 seats at the polls.
David did not contest his Town of St. George seat in the 2013 poll but five years later was on the NNP campaign trail for his old constituency which he won handsomely and landed him the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs in the newlook Cabinet of Ministers.