ST. VINCENT: – A candidate for the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) in the upcoming general elections might be taking a government minister to court.
Roland “Patel” Matthews, the NDP’s candidate for North Leeward, has said area representative Dr. Jerrol Thompson of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) told a “lie” about him during the ULP rally in Rose Hall on Sept. 19.
Matthews, speaking at an NDP rally in Spring VIllage on Friday, Sept. 24, said he has “never heard … more lies, commess (gossip), half truths and innuendoes” as at the ULP’s rally in Rose Hall. (Go to the homepage to subscribe to I Witness-News)
“Jerrol Thompson … made a comment and say I, Patel Matthews, took a cutlass and put a cutlass at somebody’s throat because of small change,” Matthews said of Thompson, who is Minister of Science and Technology.
“Well, I know Jerrol [is] listening and I have some news for him. I have spoken to three lawyers today and each of them [told] me [to] let Jerrol pay for his mouth. Let him prove it. Same as how they believe that because Pattel Matthews come from poor people in Petit Bordel they can walk down on me,” Matthews said.
“Jerrol… know your place. Don’t believe I am a footstool. You call me all kinda names. I [am] satisfied with that but don’t tell lie on me. Don’t do that. Because when yo’ do that, I will deal with him in the most appropriate way. But time alone will tell, Mr. Thompson. Time alone will tell. Because the injustice you have done to me by speaking a lie on me, time alone will tell. And the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will know that you have lied and you continue to lie,” the aspiring parliamentarian said.
NDP chairman, Dr. Linton Lewis, a lawyer, speaking at the same rally, said he believes Matthews has a legal case against Thompson.
“I also listened to the lies of the Unity Labour Party and I think Patel had a very good case against Jerrol Thompson and he should so what is necessary to make Jerrol Thompson realize that he ought not to come back to North Leeward, and he ought not to go on radio, or on a microphone on a platform and say those lies anymore about any member of the New Democratic Party,” Lewis said.
Meanwhile, Matthews said that North Leeward, with its abundance of water and agricultural lands, was rife for development.
He said the area had some of the best fisherfolks and farmers in the region, and once exported large quantities of agricultural products. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)
He said that while Rose Hall once produced onions and carrots, fertilizer has got so expensive that two farmers have to join together to buy one sack.
Matthews said his party will explore the possibility of road from Walliabou to Cumberland which would possibly reduce a trip from Kingstown to North Leeward by 30 minutes.
Matthews said that while North Leeward has the best tourism in the country, only one restaurant benefits from tours to the area.
He further said that technical and vocational education will be a priority under an NDP administration.
“We believe in making people self-sufficient, we believe in giving people an education and not tell them what they have to do,” he said.
He added that persons who receive scholarships under the ULP are branded as “ungrateful and unpatriotic” if they criticise the government.
“North Leeward, I am asking you gently. North Leeward, I am asking you please. Look at what the constituency [has become]. After ten years of representation, Jerrol Thompson cannot point and say this project, I bring in North Leeward to make the lives of people better,” Matthews said.
Thompson, a medical doctor, who has been representing North Leeward since March 2001, defeated Matthews in the 2005 general elections.
Thompson will vie for a third consecutive term in office in general elections constitutionally due by next March.