BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Finance Minister Nizam Burke has dismissed as a “very cheap political manoeuvre” the motion of no confidence filed against Prime Minister Tillman Thomas by the main opposition New National Party (NNP).
Burke, who is here attending a conference on small island development states (SIDS), told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the motion filed by Opposition Leader and former prime minister Dr. Keith Mitchell will be defeated.
“It is a very cheap political manoeuvre which will be exposed for what it is at the sitting of the Parliament and will be defeated. We are confident that the motion will not survive.
“It will provide in fact a wonderful opportunity for the government to first of all expose the leadership of the former Prime Minister for what it was what it did to Grenada and of course to speak to the achievements of this government. So we see this as an opportunity and we will deal with it as such,” Burke told CMC.
“It is cheap because it is not motivated by a genuine belief that this Prime Minister is improper, inadequate or incompetent or inefficient. It is motivated by a simple and unadulterated grab for political office,” he added.
Last week, the NNP said it had filed a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Thomas amid infighting within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the government.
Mitchell said that the motion would be debated at the next sitting of the Parliament due next month and that it had been filed ahead of the resignation of tourism, civil aviation and culture minister Peter David last Monday.
The NNP, which controls four of the 15 seats in the House of Representatives, is seeking a special sitting of the house for the motion to be heard.
“We as a responsible opposition took the decision to file a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the country. The Speaker (George James Mc Guire) in his own right decided that in the context of the Standing Orders that we must have at least six MPs to request a special sitting” .Mitchell told reporters.
“The motion will go as is but will not be a special sitting. If we are able to get support from two more members then we can ask for a special sitting of the House,” he added.
The motion is accusing Prime Minister Thomas of encouraging internal division and strife within his Government since 2008 when the NDC won the general elections. It also comes a few days after NDC chairman Stanford Simon and a group of NDC elders accused the 66-year-old Thomas of dividing his own party.
But Burke told CMC that the motion “will give us an opportunity to once again speak to the nation very clearly on what the NNP administration-led by Keith Mitchell have done to this country and it will give us a chance to speak about what we have done for this country.
“If we did not think we had a chance we would not be in politics. This is about a record. We are confident that we have a chance otherwise we would not be in politics. We don’t get into politics for the sake of losing an election. We get into politics because it gives us an opportunity to share with the nation why we believe we are the best people to run this country at this time.”
Burke said that in spite of the global economic challenge and its impact on Grenada “we have demonstrated that we are capable of managing the country’s economy very efficiently.
“We are able to provide the social safety net that would have ensured that our people did not descend into poverty in the midst of this economic crisis and we are very confident that when the next election is called we will have as good a chance as anybody else to form the next government,” he told CMC.