Gill, who is public relations officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was first appointed to the Upper House of Parliament in 2003 following the party’s narrow 8 – 7 general election loss to the New National Party.
He chaired most of the NDC’s public meetings in the election campaign of 2008. After the party’s victory and ascension to government office, he was reappointed a senator by Thomas, leader of the NDC.
However, in the aftermath of the April 30 resignation from government of MP Peter David as Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister, the prime minister announced that Gill was being removed from the Upper House to make room for a new senator, Dr George Vincent, who was sworn in as the new Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture on May 7.
“Dr Vincent brings to the position the requisite knowledge, experience, respect and track record to effectively perform the requirements of that position,” Thomas said in a national radio and television address on May 3.
In the address, Thomas also announced that Gill “will be appointed as Special Envoy on Ocean Governance with ambassadorial status, to work in the first instance on the delimitation of our maritime boundaries. This is an area in which he has some expertise and keen interest.”
Government sources, who did not want to be identified, confirmed that a contract has not yet been drafted and offered to Gill, who is a lawyer by profession.
Gill, when contacted about the status of the special envoy position announced by the prime minister, declined to comment.
At the time of the revocation of his appointment as a senator, Gill was serving as Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture.
Since assuming office almost four years ago, the government has fired or refused to renew expired contracts of several prominent NDC members and supporters.
One local newspaper that is close to the government has suggested that more dismissals could be underway, with the main targets being anyone considered to be friendly to former Tourism Minister David.
New Today, quoting what it describes as a “strategist” with the NDC administration, said thought is being placed on “reviewing the status of some persons who are known supporters of David and might be inclined to create problems for Prime Minister Thomas. He pointed to a few persons serving at overseas posts, especially in the New York area.