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Gonsalves says he’s considering early elections

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has put the nation on alert, saying that they may hear one day on the news that he has dissolved Parliament and called fresh elections.

Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party (ULP) was re-elected to a fourth consecutive term in office last December in elections that observers say were free and fair but which the opposition said the party stole.

He told the ULP’s 22nd national convention on Sunday that neither he nor any election official was involved in electoral fraud in the Dec. 9, 2015 vote.

Electoral officials say that the ULP won eight of the 15 seats while the remaining seven went to the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), which has filed election petitions contesting the announced results.

“I never get involved in any fraud with any election, no body in the ULP, nobody at all. The election observers said the elections were free and fair and reflect the will of the people,” Gonsalves said.

He told the convention that the ULP should have won 11 seats, adding that the party needed to be better-organised and resourced in South Leeward, North Leeward, and East Kingstown.

The NDP retained those seats by118, 12, and 149 votes.

Gonsalves told the convention that he wanted to call fresh elections on Feb. 15, but declined to do so after some members of the leadership of the ULP opposed the idea, saying that maybe the people were tired after the last campaign.

“But I felt confident that we could have roused the people for another effort and I intended to camp in East Kingstown, South Leeward and North Leeward because they can’t take any of the eight which we have from us.

“But if you are a commander-in-chief and you can’t get the agreement of every one of your important commanders, everybody has to be on board one hundred per cent.

“The point I am making, this is one man who doesn’t ‘fraid elections,” he said.

“And any day, you can turn on the radio and you hear that I have secured the dissolution of Parliament by the Governor General. So, they want elections? Ah might gi dem wha’ dey want,” Gonsalves told the convention.

Gonsalves said he wants the NDP to appreciate and realise this.

A section of the audience at Sunday's convention. (Photo: Duggie "Nose" Joseph)
A section of the audience at Sunday’s convention. (Photo: Duggie “Nose” Joseph)

“If anybody is under any illusion that I am interested in two by-elections, they’re out of their mind,” he said.

His comments were in reference to the petitions that the NDP has filed challenging the results in Central Leeward and North Windward.

Gonsalves, however, suggested that by-election would not be necessary, noting that High Court judge Justice Brian Cottle said in a ruling in April related to the case that the government application to strike out the petitions, when made in open court, is bound to succeed.

“Because they haven’t filed them properly, the judge has already said that an application to strike out is bound to succeed,” Gonsalves said.

He described as “foolishness” the statement by Leader of the Opposition and President of the NDP, Arnhim Eustace that he (Gonsalves) doesn’t want the petitions to be heard.

“I want the petitions to be heard, I want the application to strike out first to be heard first. I want that to happen,” Gonsalves said, adding that Eustace wants to use the petitions to continue to lead the NDP.

“And if [St. Clair] Leacock ain’t man enough to challenge him, and [Godwin] Friday, too, fraidie, fraidie, that is their business,” Gonsalves said of the two NDP vice-presidents.

“But there is no way on the basis of what we have seen in the last four general elections, there is absolutely no way that the NDP could defeat the ULP in any general elections.

Comments (12)

  1. Another empty threat. I’ll bet the NDP are really wetting their pants right now…wetting their pants with laughter. Gonsalves is a real show master and will certainly not call new elections, unless the delay of the petitions run out and the public is very close to hearing how he conducted the last elections. […] If the Gonsalves- biased courts are successful in keeping things secret there will not be any elections for a long time.

  2. Well! Well! Well! Who saw this coming? Mr PM stop trying to fool the citizen of your Country, everyone knows it was gonna come one way or the other. This time the election in SVG should be operated not by SVG Supervisor of Election, but by outside Sources. I do hope NDP has their game face on and refuse to have any election by your Government after all we who are on the outside looking in can see the games or better words illegal activities your Government is capable of. In addition I believe even before the Petition is heard in June u may call election because you don’t want the World to see you as a fraud, since the evidence given has seems to point to something is definetly rotten in SVG. No Worries Mr PM! Everyone watching in can see your a fraud, hopefully the majority of your ppl has seen it too.

  3. Kenton, how come you didn’t highlight what the OAS said in this article. According to the OAS election observers to SVG, in their report, the election was tainted/flawed/biased. Since you can report Ralph said election was free and fair and ULP won you could have put se balance to that statement by saying but the OAS in their report stated that…..,..

  4. The only true statement here is that if a general election were called this year, the ULP would win again if only because the NDP is so broke it could never fund another campaign any time soon.

    • Probably true. Ralph figured out long ago to promise tax-free to the super rich so they will fund him with all the money he needs. and then he throws crumbs to the ever-increasing poor in an election year, to get the mass votes. With this disenfranchisement of the small middle class it is a sure formula to stay in power. Not to mention fooling everyone that he is part of the “resistance” when in fact he is firmly part of the corrupt global establishment.

  5. He is off to Cuba this week, perhaps to get new instructions.

    • And possibly medical attention? Remember he don’t go close to the dump that’s the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

  6. David regardless of what you think I can assure you there will be sufficient funds in the NDP coffers for an election.

  7. If this is not arrogance and foolish talk to the highest order then Vincentians call me stupidy! You are making the statement that you want the petitions to be heard, but you filing petitions to throw them out because they were not properly filed? That does not make much sense to me. I have to tip my hat to you because Vincentians like a good Nancy story and the PM is a good storyteller. What we would like to know though is what are the current economic plans in place to move the country forward because it seems nothing doing. The only thing that seems to be promoted in the airport as if when that is finish it will solve all the problems in this country.

    • The new airport will be bound to make us all millionaires overnight. Quit your job or sell your business, give away everything else you have and rush back home from the USA to clean up on the windfall.

      • LoL! That is what they want us to think, at least the majority of the ULP already do believe that. They have been talking about job creation for almost a year now….WHERE ARE THE JOBS? The only jobs our PM can create are government jobs. I can create 1000 of those each day! His backward economic policy of raising taxes as high as possible actually destroys jobs. We should sue the people who gave him his indoctrination into economics…that serve the bankers, as it keeps us in debt!

  8. I am told that already hoards of ULP people are registering moving constituencies to pack those constituencies that need extra ULP voters to get them elected. The fraud is being perpetuated again in advance of a snap election some time soon.

    So voter fraud is well under way by the ULP and unless the upcoming election is carefully watched they will once again steal the election with bribery fraud and stuffed ballot papers.

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