Opposition wants Prime Minister to give details of source of funds

By: Rawle Titus

The Main opposition New National Party (NNP) on Tuesday appeared to be stepping up the pressure for Prime Minister Tillman Thomas to come clean on an overseas donation to his ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Party officials have made a fresh appeal for Prime Minister Thomas to provide details of the transaction after he confirmed that someone in his government received a 150-thousand US dollar donation.
The issue has become a subject of intense national debate here particularly since Prime Minister Thomas came into office promising accountability and transparency in public affairs, after accusing the previous administration of widespread corruption.
“I think the Prime minister has a responsibility to come clean with the Grenadian people. I don’t think that this transaction is a very normal one” NNP campaign manager Terrence Forester told a news conference.
“I think this matter could be put to rest once truthful information is shared with the Grenadian people. It would be wise of our prime minister to not allow this matter to cloud the airwaves of Grenada and to create further suspicion and to create that anxiety in our communities”.
Last week Monday Prime Minister Thomas denied reports of the donation after weeks of accusations by the opposition.
But in a change of heart  and in a Government Information Service (GIS) television Interview last Friday morning, Thomas acknowledged that someone in his government received a 150-thousand US dollar donation, but denied suggestions it might have been an under-hand deal.
“We call on our prime minister to disclose the facts. The source of founds declaration made to the bank is one that is very questionable” said Forester a former Public Relations officer of the NNP which now controls 4 of the 15 seats in the House of Representatives.
“Even the source of funds information given by the alleged receiver is also questionable. All these continue to create that cloud of suspicious uncertainty”.
The opposition has claimed that a top official had received a 150-thousand dollar donation from a source in Saudi Arabia in a transaction labeled as ‘legal fees’.
He however did not go into details, nor was he pressed in the GIS interview.
Opposition leader Dr.Keith Mitchell will be making a formal complain to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Royal Grenada Police Force this week, party officials have stated.
“We are particularly concerned as to the source or sources from which these funds are coming from. Our Prime Minister has the responsibility to share this with the FIU and to share this with the media so we can seek and bring about clarity “Forester told the Media Conference.
“What sort of involvement may have brought our prime minister in this unfortunate situation? We ask for disclosure in every respect and we ask for a discontinuation of skirting around the issue”.
While Prime Minister Thomas has said that the funds are a donation to the NDC, General Secretary Peter David has said the money is not in the party’s bank account.©

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