A bitter battle is taking place within the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the selection of a Caretaker for the rural St. Andrew North-west constituency held by Social Development Minister, Delma Thomas.
Informed sources told THE NEW TODAY that the process to elect the Caretaker was called off on Tuesday night amidst feuding between supporters of the two frontrunners – former government employees, Phillip Alexander and Gloria Thomas.
Alexander was the defeated candidate for Congress in the 2018 general election and is seen as representing “the old guards” in the party while Thomas is considered as more in-line with the newlook party under its 44-year old leader, Dickon Mitchell, an attorney-at-law by profession.
According to one insider, the bone of contention surrounded the financial status of some persons who attended the session in order to cast votes for the Caretaker.
There appears to be support within a wide cross section of the party for Thomas to get the nod over Alexander.
“Personally Phillip should drop out,” one former executive member and candidate told THE NEW TODAY.
Another party supporter commented: “For someone who has been around politics, Phillip isn’t ready yet.”
One experienced political operative in the area sees Thomas as the better candidate and the one with far greater appeal with the young people in the constituency.
The operative who has switched to Congress from the ruling New National Party (NNP) in recent weeks, pointed out that the Delma Thomas camp is more concerned about the threat from Gloria Thomas than from Alexander who no longer lives in the constituency but in the St George area.
“I can tell you that in going around the various villages doing work for the NNP, the name that I often heard people call is Gloria and not Phillip,” he said.
The Gloria Thomas-Phillip Alexander issue is expected to provide a stern test to the leadership qualities of NDC’s newly elected political leader.
THE NEW TODAY understands that St. Andrew North-west along with St. George North-east, St. Patrick West, St. David and Carriacou & Petite Martinique are the five constituencies that Prime Minister Mitchell is concerned about at this point in time.
According to one insider, the ruling party is thinking of shifting Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pamela Moses from her St. Patrick East to St. Patrick West constituency as the candidate out of concern that newcomer former T.A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC), Victor Phillip might not be able to win the seat in the upcoming general election.
Phillip was given the nod a few months ago as a possible replacement for the retiring former Minister of Finance and Education, Anthony Boatswain.
The NNP insider said that the ruling party is currently showing interest in a young female from the River Sallee area of the constituency to run for the seat instead of Minister Moses.
He also said that new NDC leader Dickon Mitchell is seen as providing a real threat to Foreign Minister Oliver Joseph in the St. David constituency and newcomer former New York policeman, Nimrod Ollivierre is not making the kinds of inroads in the St George North-east seat held by Opposition Leader, Tobias Clement.
Political observers are predicting that Prime Minister Mitchell will call the poll sometime between January and July for the latest.
The NNP is hoping to win all 15 seats at the polls for the third consecutive time to leave its mark on Grenada’s political history.