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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says there will not be a general election this year(File photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – There will be no general election here this year but Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has not confirmed or denied a newspaper report that he is planning a Cabinet reshuffle.

“No, there is no announcement [about a Cabinet reshuffle] today,” Gonsalves said at a media briefing yesterday.

Searchlight newspaper carried a front-page story that said Vincentians could soon see reassignments within their government.

Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party (ULP) was returned to office in the general election in December 2010 with a one-seat majority and Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said recently that he was not ruling out the possibility that Vincentians could elect a new government this year.

“On a scale of one to ten, … of the likelihood of a Cabinet reshuffle and that of Mr. Eustace that there is going to be a general election this year, Mr. Eustace’s belief is close to zero whereas the Searchlight story will be on the continuum on a number beyond zero. … The point is this, Mr. Eustace won’t be right this year,” Gonsalves told reporters.

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He said that persons who predict Cabinet reshuffles “may be right as well as they may not be right because they are things that I have done”.

“So, in relation to this this Searchlight article, … I wouldn’t say whether it is right, I would say whether it is wrong. Just wait and see if there will be an announcement sometime,” Gonsalves said.

“If it is somebody else who had written it who I know may have manufactured something, I probably would have said ‘No, no; that’s a manufactured story’,” Gonsalves said adding that Searchlight, which is generally regarded as supportive of the government, is a reliable newspaper.

Gonsalves said that since coming to office in 2001, he had reshuffled his cabinet from time to time.

“I have done that during the first [term] after a year. I have done it [after a] year and a half, I have done it at different points in time because you look at things and you access and as chairman of the Cabinet, I am always doing these assessments,” he said.

“The reality is that the government has a majority. It has functioned perfectly well past one year in which time the government should have fallen twice, according to the I believe predictions of the Leader of the Opposition.”

Eustace, after losing the December 2010 election, twice predicted that the government would fall: in six months and later in one year.

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