KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Former St. Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King who was defeated in elections this month telephoned Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves after his election defeat.
“… Stephenson telephoned me before I got on to him to thank me for some kind words, which I said about him following his party’s defeat,” Gonsalves told Parliament on Tuesday as he congratulated Dr. Kenny Anthony and the St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) on their return to office after five years in opposition.
The SLP won 11 seats while King’s United Workers Party (UWP) won the remaining six in elections held on Nov. 28.
“… there is a tendency in these parts, when someone loses elections, it is as though it’s the end of the world. We have to get past that,” said Gonsalves on the one-year anniversary of his Unity Labour Party’s re-election to a third consecutive term in office.
“They are good human beings who offer themselves for elections. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose. It is the nature of democracy. But it doesn’t mean that the person who loses is a devil and the person who win is, by virtue of his victory, is virtuous,” he said.
“And, on the other hand, those who lose mustn’t traduce those who are victorious and ascribe all sorts of names and intentions to them and vice versa.
“As I get older, I appreciate more and more this wonderful gift, which we have called the choosing of individuals to govern; there are some who take it for granted, we ought not to. And, in that light, I congratulate the people of St. Lucia,” Gonsalves said.
“I would like to congratulate the people of St. Lucia for yet again, in the finest democratic traditions, ran free and fair elections. This is a tradition in our parts and long may it so continue,” he said in congratulating Anthony on his victory.
“Mr. Speaker, at the same time, I want to say that Stephenson King, now Opposition Leader, ran very competitive elections for his United Workers Party and it is not because he had lost that he must be demonised.
“From my association with him, he is a good and decent man. I also would say for the record, as is well known, Kenny Anthony is my good friend and our party’s are fraternal parties. In fact, I have been in conversation both with Dr. Anthony and Mr. Stephenson King,” said Gonsalves who also congratulated
Guyana’s Donald Ramotar of the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C) on becoming president there on elections also on Nov. 28
Meanwhile opposition Member of Parliament St. Clair Leacock congratulated Anthony and Ramotar on behalf of the opposition.