ST. VINCENT:- Former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell was criticised during a ULP rally on Sunday, Sept. 19, for his comments that he does not trust “even Jesus Christ” when it comes to general elections.
Opposition leader Arnhim Eustace said on Saturday, Sept. 18, that his New Democratic Party (NDP) “could not defend” party founder Sir James, who said last week, “…I don’t trust even Jesus Christ when there is elections, until I see the results”.
Mitchell, who was Prime Minister from 1984 to 2000, made the comment as he called for the immediate presence of international observers of the general elections, constitutionally due by next March.
Eustace said Sir James called him after the making the statement, saying he “did something wrong”. (Go to the homepage to subscribe to I Witness-News)
Eustace further said he believes the retired politician “would make his own statement shortly for the benefit of the public”.
But Senator Michelle Fife, the ULP’s candidate for West Kingstown said Sir James’ statement was “blasphemy”.
“When I hear people say there is no democracy in our country and there is no freedom of the internet, it’s almost blasphemous,” Fife said while addressing the ULP’s rally in Rose Hall.
She was seemingly responding to statements by the NDP that democracy in the multi-island nation was under threat.
“And, speaking of blasphemy, we will not allow any purported leader to come into our country, or to allow people to come into our country to have no respect for the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. You going to liken the name, the holy and the matchless name, of Jesus Christ to someone else and saying you will not trust Jesus Christ in an election? Blasphemy! Blasphemy!” Fife added.
Minister of Health Dr. Douglas Slater, who is quitting politics after two terms as the representative of South Leeward, told the audience that they were voting for “leadership that has proper judgement”.
He said that Sir James was the de facto leader of the NDP. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)
“When you have a man like James Mitchell … and he could be so careless with many statements, and especially the last one … you have to seriously sit back and question if you want that sort of leadership, either … in front or behind, to be leading you in this country,” Slater said.
“And I know the answer to that is ‘no!’ We cannot afford to have people with such poor judgement. Because we are a poor country and we cannot afford to make them mistakes and that is a serious mistake,” he added.