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gonsalves eustace1
PM Gonsalves and opposition leader Arnhim Eustace.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has denied being involved in an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

Gonsalves told Parliament last week that the police have arrested and charged with “serious offences, not relating to the conspiracy of murder”, an assassin hired to kill him.

He said the murder plot was devised by “the two major drug trafficking and money-laundering entities” in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and that the NDP received “substantial funding” for last month’s election from the two crime syndicates.

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Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, said while the would-be killer was remanded to prison without bail, police did not charged him with conspiracy to murder “because the security authorities are keen at protecting the most valuable intelligence sources”.

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He said the criminal was nabbed at the end of a one-week man-hunt and the search yielded one high-powered assault weapon and security authorities were still searching for another such weapon, “which had been in the contract-killer’s possession”.

But NDP president and Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace told Parliament on Tuesday, Jan 25, that conspiracy to murder “is not the nature of the new Democratic Party”.

“I want to make it absolutely clear that the New Democratic Party members, particularly those members of the House here gathered, are not involved with those persons who are, as it was put, money launderers and drug dealers,” said Eustace, who is also the NDP’s shadow minister for national security.

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“I take very strong, the strongest objection to that implication being made about our members. I also want to make it absolutely clear that the New Democratic Party is not involved in any action related to the assassination of or the death of the Prime Minister of this country,” he further said.

“Any such implication that we are involved in any attempt aimed at the Prime Minister’s life, real or imagined, we clearly want to disassociate ourselves from any such remarks,” Eustace told legislators during the budget debate.