ST. VINCENT:-While Elson Crick, media consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister has offered to resign for sending to the media a document with the election date as “December 15th”, a photograph taken at the Unity Labour Party (ULP) rally on Sunday is generating questions about what the Prime Minister actually wrote on the document. (See photos at end of post)
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on Sunday, Nov. 13, announced at a rally in Calliaqua that the elections will be held on Dec. 13.
Gonsalves also announced that Parliament would be dissolved on Monday, Nov. 15, while election candidates are to be officially nominated on Nov. 26.
He wrote in the dates while describing Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace as “being childish” for telling supporters of his New Democratic Party on Saturday, Nov. 13, that elections would be called on December 15.
“If Gonsalves change that date, he change it tonight. And he is intending to announce it tomorrow. … And, if he change it, I will know!” Eustace had said.
“For all his dramatic posturing, bluff, vanities and empty boast, I must tell you simply that Eustace got the general elections date wrong,” Gonsalves said during his rally on Sunday.
But Crick on Monday circulated to the media a copy of Gonsalves speech in which the date of the elections was entered as December 15.
Crick later apologized to news editors, saying he had made “an inadvertent typing error”.
“My integrity is well known. I have been an honest media person over the last 31 years, and no one should make mischief from my error,” Crick said.
He offered to resign and he has apologised to Gonsalves verbally and would also give him a written apology.
“When the document came to me this morning, November 15th, it was blank as it should be. I inserted the dates to complete the document. I typed the correct dates for the proroguing of the House, and Nomination Day. I typed the wrong information for the election date. It was an honest mistake by me. I typed 15th rather than 13th,” Crick wrote.
“It is clear from the Prime Minister’s references to Proverbs Chapter 12 and verse 13, and Proverbs chapter 13 and verse 12, which signaled the scriptural connections to the date which he announced for the elections, that I made a silly but honest mistake. The simple fact is that Arnhim Eustace, the Leader of the Opposition, called the election date wrong, as the Prime Minister showed above,” he further said.
But a photograph taken by freelance photographer Oris Robinson at the rally on Sunday suggests that Gonsalves had written the date of the elections as “Monday December 15th” (See images below).
Gonsalves and his ULP are vying for a third consecutive term in office against Eustace and the NDP, which were sent to the opposition benches in 2001 after 17 years in office.
Gonsalves has described the NDP as “tired, drained, [and] demonstrating little or no love for the people”.
“These people in the NDP, they offer little or nothing to the people by way of ideas policies and programmes. By and large, they are consumed by an uncontrollable rage, anger and bitterness, which, when combined with an unbridled lust for power represent a real and present danger to the people and our nation,” Gonsalves said.
But Eustace said on Saturday that the NDP “is back’ and ready to retake the reign of governance.
“… we intend to win. And we intend to run a successful government where every man, woman and child, regardless of which party you support, will be treated equally. I make that solemn promise … with all sincerity,” said Eustace, who had a five-month stint as prime minister.
The ULP won both the March 2001 and December 2005 general election 12 seats to the NDP’s three.