ST. VINCENT:- The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) is once again appealing for peace as two party supporters were shot in the South Leeward community of Chauncey Wednesday night, Dec. 1 as the campaign for the Dec. 13 general elections intensifies.
Police in Kingstown told I Witness-News midday Thursday that information about the incident had not reached them.
However, a cop at the Questelles Police Station, in the district were the incident occurred, said her senior was not available to take questions and she was not authorised to talk to the media about the incident.
The National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) reported midday Thursday that Keba “Plaza” Foye and another man who goes by the alias ‘I-Man-Yard” were both shot in the leg during an altercation Wednesday night.
The state-owned media house said reports indicate that after the incident, the alleged attacker, identified as “Dennie” of Lower Questelles, turned himself in to the police.
Nigel “Nature” Stephenson, the NDP candidate for South Leeward said the shooting occurred after a Unity Labour Party (ULP) rally in the community.
Stephenson along with party leader Arnhim Eustace spoke about the incident during the party’s programme on Nice Radio on Thursday.
Stephenson said he visited the men at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and that they were “in good spirits” and in “no imminent danger”.
The two politicians condemn the instances of violence which have been reported in the run up to the elections.
“I want to make it clear that this violence is not acceptable and does not reflect the wishes of the Vincentian people, who just want a peaceful run up to the general election,” Stevenson said.
“Violence is terrible for our society, our people, and our international reputation. Violence ruins communities and sets brothers against brothers. We don’t want that in St. Vincent. The New Democratic Party does not want that and I am convinced that every right-thinking Vincentian citizen will agree with me,” he added.
Meanwhile, Eustace repeated his invitation for Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves to join him in a joint press conference condemning violence.
Gonsalves had earlier blanked Eustace’s invitation saying Eustace was hypocritical in that he did not condemn the attack of three ULP supporters in Chateaubelair last month, reportedly by NDP supporters.
Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, further said that Eustace wanted to use the proposed joint press conference to appear prime ministerial.
“I find the comment stupid. I was prime minister already before. … What I want is that our country go through this election period without violence, without any more violence so that we can have a peaceful election here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Eustace said.
“I invite yet again the prime minister to join me in a joint appeal for peace, not as politicians but as fathers and members of local communities,” he said.
Eustace further said that he has written to the Chairman of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States about the NDP’s concerns about developments leading up to the elections.
“It is vitally important for our country that we take action now, supported by the international community, to ensure that these peaceful, free and fair elections are held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on December the 13th,” he said.
“I want to take this opportunity again to appeal to all Vincentians. I don’t care whether you are NDP or ULP, we [condemn] the violence, it is not necessary, it is not needed,” Eustace said.
“I have repeated called for peace in this country, repeatedly. I have called on the prime minister to do the same and I am even prepared to do it jointly with him,” he added.
“The decision as to who forms the government lies in the hands of the people of this country and on Election Day, they will vote for the party of their choice,” Eustace further said.