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What the New Democratic Party (NDP) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and its supporters fail to realise (or chooses to ignore) is that in the unlikely event that the Central Leeward constituency results in the Dec. 9 national election are overturned in their favour, they will end up with a hollow, laughable, and potentially violent victory.
Why? Because the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) under the leadership of the Honourable Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves will still retain its large majority of the popular vote — 52 per cent to 47 per cent — just as they did in 1998 when they gained the same number of seven seats to the NDP’s eight, culminating in the 2000 “road-block revolution” closing off all traffic to the capital of Kingstown ultimately leading to their defeat in 2001 when they gained only three seats.
If they capture Central Leeward by the two or more votes they now claim they won by (as opposed to the over 300 votes they officially lost by), expect a second road-block revolution with the same inevitable result.
Those who claim that the election results were rigged in every one of the 15 constituencies will have a hard time explaining how the NDP’s popular vote declined in their two strongholds: the results in the Northern Grenadines constituency showed a decline of four per cent from 2010 to 2015 while the Southern Grenadines vote declined by two per cent over the same period. Likewise, they will be hard pressed to explain the NDP’s increase in the contested Central Leeward constituency during the same period by four per cent, except by acknowledging that candidate Ben Exeter was far more popular than perennial NDP loser Norrel Hull.
Regardless of what SVG’s British-imposed Constitution says, the people — the ultimate source of power in our democracy — would never accept NDP rule under such circumstances, just as they rejected it in 2000.
If, as the leader of the NDP, Arnhim Eustace, claims, his party would never engage in the type of civil obedience the 2000 road-block revolution represented — something already contradicted by his instigation of quasi-road blocks at the police station in both the town of Layou and at Government House, the official residence of the Governor General — why is he trying his best to provoke this kind of disobedience from the ruling ULP by refusing to man-up to the results of last week’s election?
Welcome to the weird world of Vincentian politics, a country where Sir James Mitchell, the first and longest serving Prime Minister to date, was Premier from 1972 to 1974 even though he was his fledgling NDP party’s only elected representative, a feat of true one-man minority rule that made St. Vincent and the Grenadines a laughing stock throughout the region.
Get ready for more comedy, laughter, and — God forbid — possible violence as the current impasse unfolds.
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