ST.GEORGE’S, Grenada, May 17, CMC – Grenada’s government, already rocked by party and cabinet infighting, tottered again on Thursday as Foreign Minister Karl Hood, who refused to vote on a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, quit the cabinet early Thursday.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Thomas had accepted Hood’s resignation Thursday morning while the ex-minister called a news conference for 4 p.m. (2000 GMT) in St. George’s.
Hood is the second senior minister to resign in less than a month, following the departure of tourism minister Peter David, and comes two days after the administration survived a no-confidence motion in Parliament that appeared to expose deep rifts between the prime minister and his cabinet colleagues.
“The Prime Minister thanked Mr. Hood for his service to the government of Grenada over the past three and a half years and wished him well in his future endeavours,” said the prime minister’s office in a brief statement.
“Prime Minister Thomas continues to be focused on fulfilling the commitment he gave to the people of Grenada, who elected him to serve and his pledge to implement government projects announced in September last year,” the statement added.
Speculation mounted that Hood would leave the government after abstaining on a vote of no confidence against the Grenadian leader brought by Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The government defeated the motion by eight votes to five in a strict party line vote, but with one government backbencher supporting the censure and Hood abstaining.
Hood instead launched a scathing attack on his own government during the 13-hour debate on Tuesday, saying he supported the motion in principle.
“Although I do not disagree with the sentiments of this motion, I want to take a step back. Mr. Speaker, someone once said that if you have nothing good to say about someone else keep your mouth shut,” Hood said.
While eight government MPs voted to save Thomas’ faltering administration, the parliamentarians were less than enthusiastic in their praise of Thomas’ leadership, observers noted.
Only three of the government MPs openly defended the Prime Minister’s record, while three government MPs did not utter a word in defence of either government or leader.