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The NDP met on Dec. 30 to discuss disaster relief. (IWN photo)
The NDP met on Dec. 30 to discuss disaster relief. (IWN photo)
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(See video at end of post)

The opposition New Democratic Party says it is “unacceptable” that they were not invited to the disaster response planning meeting on Saturday, chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and involving local and regional officials.

Opposition Leader and NDP president, Arnhim Eustace, told I-Witness News on Monday that, as in previous disaster situations, “there has not been any real unity in dealing with those matters.

“And, in fact, a committee has been set up in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it has persons even from overseas attending the committee meeting last Saturday, and the opposition as not even invited to discuss the matter at all,” Eustace told IWN on Monday after a planning meeting of the NDP’s executive and parliamentary caucus.

The planning meeting included members of the Cabinet; diplomats; senior government officials; Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and chair of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Baldwin Spencer; local and foreign contractors, utility companies, financial institutions, representatives of the governments of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, and representatives of Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

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“We got 49 per cent of the vote in the last election. We represent over 30,000 people who voted for us in the last election here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And to have a planning meeting to look at a disaster situation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and to exclude us from that sort of deliberation, I find quite unacceptable,” Eustace said.

Torrential rains on Christmas Eve have claimed none lives, while four persons are missing and there is extensive damage to public infrastructure and housing in some areas.

Some communities have been declared disaster areas, and a Level 2 disaster has been announced nationally, meaning that the country needs some foreign assistance to cope with the damage.

The Level 4 represents a most severe situation.

Asked his opinion of the response of the government to the disaster, Eustace said:

“Well, nothing much has happened yet. People have been visiting in the different areas and looked at the damaged. But there is also damage to agriculture, which is not assessed yet.

“I saw some assessment work that is going on, but I am quite pleased with the work that has been done by the water authority and VINLEC. They were on the ground from the beginning and they are still on the ground doing very good work,” Eustace said of the state-owned power and water companies.

Eustace said that at the meeting on Monday, the NDP discussed its own

approach to dealing with the disaster and what the party can do to assist persons affected.

6 replies on “Opposition says its omission from national disaster response meeting ‘unacceptable’ (+video)”

  1. I think this is really discussing consider the PM is calling for unity,this should start from the head down not from the foot up and a time like now it should be the county before party and politics this is a wake-up call for the whole country let us unite and see what we can do for our country and not what our country can do for us PM it’s your call let it starts with you.

    1. Sigh, you really missing the point of which a blind man can see it! As does the PM for a genuine shot to unify the the seriously divided country.

  2. This is not the time to complain about not being invited to a meeting and what percentage of the votes you received. Leave that stuff until SVG is back on its feet.. Focus should be on how to help SVG get back to some form of normalcy.

    1. Are you serious Jennifer, if the PM can have meeting and people from over seas was ask to be there what happen to the Opposition? this need all hands no matter what party you form to be on deck, a special parliament meeting should ah done call to deal with this event.

  3. It just highlights the depth of hatred, spite, malice and sheer evil that is generated by the Marxist ULP leadership.

    I think that we must all watch to see if NDP supporters affected by the floods do not get the same treatment as ULP supporters.

  4. Folks. Lets be serious. Political mileage is never far from the prime minister’s mind. The meeting on Saturday requires all hands on deck. In a country such ours with its limited resources we need everyone on deck. No single party/group has a monopoly on ideas. Let’s put country before party.

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