St. George South MP bewildered by statements that cabinet members snubbed reconciliation efforts

A local online news entity is quoting Environment Minister Glynis Roberts as saying that she is “bewildered’’ at suggestions that some members of Grenada cabinet had snubbed attempts at forging better relations and reconciliation among government ministers.

News Services Grenada has published an article quoting Roberts as saying, “I’m bewildered; I truly am,’’ in response to recent remarks by Education Minister Senator Franka Bernadine, implying that there were members of cabinet who were not interested in reconciliation.

Bernadine, who was a recent guest on an online radio program, “Sundays With George Grant,’’ said  some members of the cabinet, described as “dissidents” and “rebels” by persons loyal to Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, had refused to “to come to the table” for reconciliation talks.

But Roberts, who is also Minister responsible for Foreign Trade and Export Development, has a contradicting version events.

“As far I can recollect, three sessions were held with facilitators from Barbados and St. Lucia and they were attended by all cabinet ministers,’’ Roberts told the online News outfit.

“Unless Senator Bernadine is speaking of other sessions, I remain bewildered and I’m at a lost understanding who were those who did not come to the table to try to bring about the unity and reconciliation that I have been clamouring for and which we all desire.’’

Roberts is the Member of Parliament for South St. George, the constituency that it is said Prime Minister Thomas was hoping Bernadine would be the candidate for in the next general elections carded for July 2013.

There has been ongoing tension in the government and party of the ruling National Democratic Congress which received an 11-seat mandate  to govern the country in 2008.

There have been no clear indications as to the source of the contentions but some analysts and party insiders seem to suggest that the tension stemmed from the leadership style of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and what they say is his unwillingness to accept suggestions from persons with differing opinions.

The tension has been exacerbated by announcements by Prime Minister Thomas that he will go into a new elections with a new slate.

The first open sign that there was trouble within the government was in 2010 when following a cabinet reshuffle  three disgruntled MPs (Peter David, Michael Church and Glynis Roberts) refused to attend their swearing-in ceremony at the governor general’s office for three days. Eventually only David and Roberts accepted their new portfolios – Church resigned, refusing to accept his demoted position of Junior Minister in the Ministry of Works.

Since then, there have been three more cabinet reshuffle, two more resignations, and two firings.©

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