ST. VINCENT: – The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) presented its case for governance of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to South Central Windward on Saturday, Sept. 18.
It told electors during a rally at Long Piece that the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) is all about politics and has “nothing to do with people”.
Much of the party’s criticism of the stewardship of ULP’s over the past nine years centred on party leader, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (Go to the homepage to subscribe to I Witness-News)
Senator Daniel Cummings, the NDP’s candidate for Central Kingstown, said Gonsalves’ politics involved “mamaguying” Vincentians into voting from him them ignoring them “right back to square one”.
He said that under the ULP, statutory corporations have chalked up huge debts and there were frequent power outages in his Central Kingstown community of Redemption Sharpes.
“…Every statutory corporation, under this man, even the NCB (National Commercial Bank), is no longer national Cummings said.
Cummings spoke of an incident when he was manager of the Central Water and Sewerage Authority in which an employee was fired after he came to work drunk.
Cummings said Gonsalves telephoned him and said the dismissed employee was from Gonsalves’ constituency and hence had to work.
He said that during the campaign, the NDP will deal with “substantive issues” and would not “rip out anybody guts”, a comment Gonsalves made in reference to NDP candidate for West St. George, Vynnette Frederick.
Public servant and former ULP supporter Otto Sam endorsed Addison “Bash” Thomas, the NDP’s candidate for South Central Windward. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)
Sam was instrumental in the ULP’s election to office in 2001 and 2005 but has become increasingly critical of Gonsalves’ leadership.
The career educator and former head teacher of the South Rivers Methodist School was in August transferred to the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO).
Thomas will come up against, Senator Saboto Caesar, who is also contesting elections for the first time.
Sam said that Caesar, who is also Minister of Land, can’t get things done and models Gonsalves too much.
He said Caesar was unable to convince the government to lease or sell lands in Diamonds to a community group, of which Caesar is a member, that wants to develop a heritage site.
Thomas said he would win South Central Windward for the NDP, saying there was much incomplete or dilapidated infrastructure in the constituency.
He said his vision for the district was to transform it through “education, employment, and positive inclusion”.
Public servant Anesia Baptiste also made the case for the NDP’s elections to office.
Baptiste has been suspended from her position as Communications Manager at the Ministry of Tourism after making comments critical of the ULP administration during the Constitution referendum campaign last November.
Baptiste, who has since been elected to the executive of the NDP, said the ULP victimises people and should be voted out of office.
She said the country needs a leader who would not “curse people” for the choices they make.
NDP president and opposition leader Arnhim Eustace addressed issues relating to the performance of the NCB and the opposition’s court case against the Boundaries Commission.
He encouraged NDP supporters to sign a petition, which he said will be among documents to be presented to the court for the hearing on Sept. 30.
The ULP is vying for a third consecutive term in office in general elections due by March next year. It won the 2001 and 2005 votes 12 seats to the NDP’s three.