Former Minister of Legal Affairs in the defeated New National Party (NNP) administration Kindra Maturine-Stewart is set to become a sitting Magistrate in Grenada.
A well-placed legal source told THE NEW TODAY that Maturine-Stewart who lost the Carriacou & Petite Martinique seat in the June 2022 general election has gotten the nod from the Judicial & Legal Services Commission (JLSC) after applying for a position on the Magistracy.
He said that the former government minister will be replacing attorney Teddy St Louis who is stepping down at the end of the month from the Magistracy.
According to the source, Maturine-Stewart will only be replacing St Louis as a Magistrate but not his position of Acting Chief Magistrate which could be given to Kinna Marrast-Victor who is considered as her senior in the legal profession.
“She (Kindra) is replacing the Chief Magistrate in terms of the number of Magistrates but not the position,” he said.
THE NEW TODAY was told that Maturine-Stewart might have been the only local attorney to apply to the JLSC to join the Magistracy in the wake of St Louis’ pending resignation from the bench.
There are also reports in legal circles that she also had a scheduled meeting with Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs Senator Claudette Joseph.
Marrast-Victor is a former acting Solicitor General in the Office of the Ministry of Legal Affairs and is currently the sitting Magistrate in St David.
She is the daughter of a retired Principal of St Joseph’s Convent in Grenville, St Andrew who is a sister to the controversial former acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Tafawa Pierre.
The legal source pointed out that the authorities have been anxious to keep Marrast-Victor on the bench and was known to be “afraid” since last year that they might lose her as a Magistrate.
Chief Magistrate St Louis will end his stint on the bench next week.
Maturine-Stewart is joining the Magistracy less than a year after she lost her place in the Lower House of Parliament following the defeat at the polls of the New National Party (NNP) at the hands of Congress under 45-year old attorney-at-law Dickon Mitchell.
Her exit from the political stage came amidst controversy when the NNP announced that she had declined to accept the position as she had “elected to return to her private practice full-time and also devoted her time to dealing with other personal matters.”
The statement went on to say: “Once she (Maturine-Stewart) indicated to the party that she was no longer interested in front-line politics and of her plan to return to the legal profession, the party in 2022 appointed Senator Norland Cox as the caretaker for Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
“The recent resignation by Stewart from the party has been accepted to allow her the space to pursue opportunities related to her profession.
“Political Leader Dr Keith Mitchell said when he was notified by the family of this decision he gave his blessings as he believes that Stewart will excel in her new role.”
About a month ago, the NNP statement was described as a lie from “the pit of hell” by former Social Development Minister Delma Thomas who also quit the party amidst differences with the Political Leader.
Thomas told supporters in her St Andrew North-west constituency that Maturine-Stewart had accepted the Senatorial position and was preparing to accept the appointment next day from Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade when it was withdrawn after it became known that she favoured Dr. Mitchell stepping aside as the political leader of the party.
Like Thomas, Maturine-Stewart is believed to support former Agriculture Minister Peter David taking over as the new NNP political boss.