Dictatorship emerging in Grenada, MP alleges

Church said he previously spoke of the “emergence” of the “dictatorship” at a meeting of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and also at a cabinet sitting before his resignation from government in 2010.

He repeated the “dictatorship” allegation in parliament on Tuesday, saying Prime Minister Tillman Thomas was not the architect of it.

“It’s a group of faceless people who understand the psychology of the prime minister and use the face of the prime minister to justify, and give credence, to the creating of that monster,” Church said in his contribution to the 2012 budget debate.

He referred to one member of the group as someone who “struts as a turkey cock,” believed by many to be a reference to former NDC chairman Glen Noel, who is now minister of information and national mobilization.

Church, MP for the Parish of St John, was one of 11 NDC candidates who won their seats in general elections in 2008.

He resigned after being offered a junior ministerial position in a cabinet reshuffle 16 months ago.

In presenting the March 9 budget, the finance minister reported on the newly created “Office of the Prime Minister,” which is being headed by a Chief of Staff.

“We are seeking to consolidate in one place all persons who hold what may be called political contracts,” Nazim Burke said. “These include advisors, personal assistants and drivers. Hitherto, these persons were provided for under various ministries.”

However, Church has raised several concerns about the news structure, questioning its functions and its contribution to the country’s economic development; and asking whether it’s not an attempt to bring political party apparatus into a government structure.

“This is a major concern to me,” said Church, who cautioned against “politicizing the public sector.”

The parliamentary backbencher appealed to Thomas to “think deeply” about the creation of the new structure that will be led by William Joseph – Grenada’s Ambassador to CARICOM and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States – as the Chief of Staff.

“This nation expects you to protect us,” Church said in remarks directed at the prime minister.

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