ST.GEORGE’S, Grenada: Days after this country’s prime minister, Tillman Thomas, and foreign minister, Karl Hood, denied rumours of Hood’s impending resignation, the minister has quit cabinet.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Hood’s resignation was tendered and accepted by Thomas last week.
Within hours of Hood’s resignation, Thomas addressed the nation and announced that he was assuming the role of foreign minister.
Days before last Tuesday’s no-confidence vote led by the Opposition against Thomas’ stewardship, there were rumours that Hood, NDC Member of Parliament for St. George South-East, had resigned as minister, but he denied it and Thomas dismissed the chances of more ministers resigning from his government.
Hood, who refused to vote on the no-confidence motion brought by Opposition Leader, Dr. Keith Mitchell, is the second senior minister to resign in less than a month, following the departure of tourism minister, Peter David.
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 fuelled speculation of his departure by launching an attack on his own government during the 13-hour debate last week, saying he supported the motion in principle. The tenuous grip on power held by Thomas seemed evident during the debate as only three of the government members of parliament (MPs) rose to defend the prime minister’s record, while three government MPs did not utter a word in defence of either government or leader.
Hood is the fourth NDC MP to move from cabinet member to the backbench of the House of Representative, leaving Thomas with seven government parliamentarians.
The opposition New National Party has four MPs including Dr. Mitchell, the former prime minister.
Following this latest resignation, a brief statement issued by the prime minister’s office stated: “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.”
The statement continued: “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.”