Will Chester Humphrey be a fair Arbiter in the Grenada Senate?
The surprise announcement of Chester Humphrey as an NNP Senator raised many eyebrows after more than fifteen years of vociferous opposition to that party. Many rank and file supporters listened in shock and amazement when Prime Minister Mitchell made the announcement last Thursday in a national address.
Humphrey along with Peter David and others were expelled from the then ruling NDC in 2012.
This expulsion was a major blow to Humphrey who is known for his egotistic and self centred character. Since then he has teamed up with David, Hamlet Mark and others to publish Caribupdate newspaper. This newspaper has been the main mouthpiece of the Humphrey inspired Project Grenada. Along with other expellees from the NDC and some ex-revolutionaries, this splinter group has formed an unofficial alliance with the NNP in the run up to the last general elections.
Humphrey has expressed openly his deep dislike for Sen. Nazim Burke, the recently elected leader of the National Democratic Congress. Further, the Trade Union Council elected Ray Roberts to replace Mr. Humphrey as its representative in the Senate. From then on Mr. Humphrey is reported to be walking around with a permanent lump in his throat apparently humiliated by this action of his peers. As a trade unionist, he is known to be a hardliner who hold on to inflexible positions. That being said, Humphrey is energized and upbeat with his appointment and is quietly hell bent to teach Mr. Buuuuke and the NDC a lesson.
The NDC leader is known to be an excellent debater and strategic thinker and the Humphrey/ David combination is unlikely to unsettle him. Dr. Mitchell has watched helplessly as Burke outmanoeuvred NNP Senators Garraway and Sheldon Scott on the floor of the Senate. He hopes that with David on the floor and Humphrey in the President’s chair, the NDC leader will be corralled. Humphrey is likely to use his position to frustrate Burke or even to expel him, if he can, with the objective of humiliating the NDC leader.
Dr. Mitchell knows that the President of the Senate usually acts as Deputy to the Governor General in his/her absence. In an effort to avoid this occurring, he has indicated that former Senator Lawrence Joseph will act when Dame Cecile is out of state. The national community will not accept Humphrey acting in the position of Head of State given the fact that he is a fugitive wanted by US law enforcement agencies.
The Grenadian people will be watching closely Mr. Humphrey’s conduct in his new position. His personal credentials do not provide hope that he will be a fair arbiter in the Senate. His appointment by Dr. Mitchell is probably the most treacherous act by a sitting Prime Minister since independence. It is nothing but a stab in the heart of our democracy, an opportunist act aimed at creating mayhem and confusion.