ST. VINCENT:- Jamaican reggae artiste Tarrus Riley will headline the main opposition New Democratic Party’s (NDP) “Defending Democracy” concert at Victoria Park at 7:00 tonight at which the party will launch its manifesto for the general elections next Monday, Dec. 13.
“Change is on the way! It’s inevitable!” NDP public relations officer Vynnette Frederick said on Hot FM today.
Several other local artistes will perform at the show, which Frederick, who is the NDP’s candidate for West St. George, said is “all about ensuring that the will of the people prevails”.
“[A]nd who better to put you in the kind of mood?” she said, adding, “You know we have had a very contentious campaign. We expect that tensions have been high. Our campaign started by saying we had ‘enough’ and wanted ‘no more’ and now we think it is time for change in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“We expect that Tarrus this evening is going to put the people in a frame of mind not just to be content with the idea of change. You know he is all about love and a feel good love. And we want everybody who comes to that park – whether you are a ULP supporter who’s just fed up, whether you are a ULP supporter who just wants to see Tarrus Riley, whether you are an NDP supporter who has been going through this campaign facing the ups and down — he is going to put you in the right headspace,” Frederick said.
She said the event tonight will be the last NDP event at which all 15 candidates will be present as the election campaign climaxes.
“…of course you are going to be hearing from the next prime minister. You will be hearing from different groups in society being represented by our candidates — we have a couple surprises in store. We have a surprise for the leader,” she said of NDP president and Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace.
Speaking during the same radio interview, Riley, the son of Jamaican legend Jimmy Riley of “The Taxi Gang”, said Vincentians will be treated to “healing music” tonight.
“We are here to make the people feel nice. We know it is politics time… [but] we are not telling you who to vote for but remember your vote is your voice,” said Riley, who is preparing for a tour of Africa.
“…you don’t have to be violent with anything. Come listen to some music; get some of the burden off you and anytime you are ready to make your decision, you just do it,” he further said in Jamaican Patois.
Frederick further said the “Defending Democracy” concert is “just going to be about ensuring that the voice of the people is heard.
“…a beautiful voice — the voice of Tarrus Riley – will be heard tonight at Victoria Park,” she added.
“I’m just going to sing and sing and sing,” Riley said.
The NDP has been heavily criticized for the late release of its manifesto, which comes on the heels of the ruling Unity Labour Party’s main manifesto, which was launched on Sunday, followed by a youth manifesto on Tuesday.