KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Statutory corporation employees who have a grudge against Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves should think twice about taking it out on his North Central Windward constituents.
Gonsalves, speaking in Georgetown on Tuesday, warned persons with such intentions that a battle against his constituents is also a fight with him.
The politician, who was born in and has been representing the constituency for 17 years, did not contextualise his statement.
However a report in Searchlight newspaper last week said that a credit control officer at state-owned electricity company, VINLEC was suspended for two weeks without pay after a verbal encounter with “the shareholder’s representative”.
The report said that the employee had received an angry telephone call from a parliamentary representative after the employee ordered the disconnection of the electricity supply to a small business in a rural constituency because the account was in arrears.
The report did not identify the parliamentarian or the constituency.
“I want to thank you, the people of Georgetown and North Central Windward for returning me so overwhelmingly in every single general elections,” Gonsalves told constituents at the opening ceremony of the Georgetown Police Station yesterday.
“… And I want all those who are in statutory bodies and all those who are public servants [to know] that while I am not looking for preferential treatment for my constituents, please, don’t try any of you to take it out on my constituents because you can’t get me to take it out on me,” he said.
“Because, I tell you, I am very open with my constituents. They have my telephone numbers; they can come to see me; they are my eyes and they are my ears and, in a battle with me, if you unfair any of my constituents, you have a battle also with me,” the Prime Minister further stated.
Gonsalves noted that before becoming prime minister he had to win his seat in North Central Windward.
“And to get the seat in North Central in the way in which I get it, I had to win big in Park Hill, South Rivers, Bellevue, Colonaire, Gorse, Mangrove, Byera, Chester, Georgetown, all the way up to Chile,” he further said.
“So I just want you to hear those villages and just leave my constituents alone and be fair to them,” he further said to cheers.
“… If you don’t like me, that’s alright. Don’t vote for me but don’t take it out on constituents because you can’t take it out on me,” he further stated.
Gonsalves further noted that he has lived in his constituency and has built his retirement home there.
“I taught in Georgetown before I went off to university and when everybody want to run say they going to town, I come back and build me house up ah Gorse. I aint using words yo can see the deeds. I talk but yo can see the deeds,” he said partly in Vincentian creole.