Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tillman Thomas

Tillman Joseph Thomas (born June 13, 1945) is a Grenadian politician, currently serving as Prime Minister of Grenada. He is also the leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Thomas was born in Hermitage, St. Patrick. He was imprisoned under Prime Minister Maurice Bishop for two years.

In December 1984, Thomas was elected to the House of Representatives from St. Patrick East constituency, and from 1984 to 1990, he was a Junior Minister in the Ministry of Legal Affairs. In 1987 he was a founding member of the NDC, and from 1987 to 1990 he was the party's Assistant General Secretary. Thomas was defeated in St. Patrick East in the 1990 election, but he was nevertheless appointed as a Junior Minister in the Ministry of Labour. Subsequently he was appointed as Minister in the Ministries of Works and Tourism. Following the NDC's defeat in the 1999 general election, in which it failed to win any seats, Thomas was elected as party leader in October 2000. He won a House of Representatives seat in the November 2003 general election, along with six other members of his party; the NDC fell one seat short of a majority in the 15-seat House of Representatives, however, and the governing New National Party (NNP) won another term. Thomas became Leader of the Opposition in early December 2003.

After spending 13 years in opposition, the NDC won the general election held on July 8, 2008, taking 11 out of 15 seats and defeating the NNP. Thomas himself was elected from St. Patrick East constituency. On July 9, Thomas was sworn in as Prime Minister at the Grenada Trade Centre in Grand Anse, St. George's by Governor-General Daniel Williams. Speaking on this occasion, he promised "openness and transparency" and said that he would practice "the politics of inclusion".

Thomas's cabinet, composed of 17 members, was sworn in at the National Stadium on July 13. In addition to being Prime Minister, Thomas took the portfolios of Legal Affairs, National Security, Information, and Public Administration. Two members of non-governmental organizations who were not affiliated with the NDC were included in the cabinet: Franka Bernadine as Minister of Education and Human Resources, and Jimmy Bristol as Attorney-General.

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