President of the main Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), Arnhim Eustace, believes that Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, and his son, Minister of Economic Planning, Camillo Gonsalves, should go to confession.
He made the suggestion at the NDP’s “victory rally” in Layou on Saturday while commenting on the two Gonsalves’ presentations in Parliament on Friday.
“And when I heard how they behaved in Parliament yesterday, in their parliament, not ours, … I knew that the end was coming. When I hear the prime minister and his son and some of the things they said yesterday, I think they need to kneel down and beg God pardon,” Eustace said.
“They want to arrest us? They want to send the police to arrest us?” Eustace said, without elaborating.
The NDP is claiming victory in the Dec. 9 general elections, which electoral officials say Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party (ULP) won by 8 seats to the NDP’s seven.
The NDP says that the ULP stole the vote, but regional and international observers say the poll was free and fair.
The NDP has gone to court over the elections and some of its supporters have been protesting daily in Kingstown since the results were announced.
“And tonight is part of protest,” Eustace said, adding, “But when I see the crowd that is here, I know that the protest is alive and well. And the New Democratic Party will win after the court has ruled.
“And we are looking forward to that, because we believe that we are best placed to develop St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to develop the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he told party supporters.
He added: “And we have demonstrated that in our manifesto, but the election was stolen.”
Eustace said the NDP has “sufficient evidence which we think can allow us to win the petitions and then you will have a government in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, because we don’t have one now”.
Eustace repeated his claim that the Gonsalves government is an illegitimate administration.
He also commented on the debate of the Estimates in Parliament on Friday, which NDP lawmakers boycotted.
On Thursday, the NDP announced in a press conference that they would boycott the Estimates debate and gave their views on the figures.
“… they did less on the estimates than we did,” Eustace said of government’s lawyers’ presentations in parliament.
“We presented more to the people about what the Estimates mean than when they went to Parliament, although we did it at our headquarters,” he said.
Eustace, however, said that the Estimates were just the start and noting that the Budget is yet to come.
“And you know the Budget is a very important document… When we come to the Budget, that is another matter again.
“I don’t believe that Ralph Gonsalves is in any position to put forward any meaningful budget,” he said
“First of all, I don’t believe he understands the economics of the budget itself,” Eustace said, an economist.
He suggested that Gonsalves do like Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Louis Straker, who admitted that after 10 years in Parliament, he still did not understand the budget.
“We, in the New Democratic Party, are very confident of what we put forward in our manifesto. We believe we have the knowledge, the team and the skills to develop this country of ours, which we all love so dearly,” Eustace said.
Eustace said the NDP has seen the “stupidness” (nonsense) that the ULP administration has done.
“So I ask you to have faith in us, to rally with us, to protest with us, to be there in court. I ask you that most sincerely. I believe we are in a position to give you what you deserve and to have a brighter future for all the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Eustace told party supporters.
Here is the thing though; having seen the actual petitions filed, I suspect that the NDP do have real grievances to be addressed by the courts. However, the desired outcome that the NDP so craved, is but a “fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained”. I will contend, albeit with limited knowledge of all the facts, that the election was not “materially affected” by those said grievances.
The remedy that the NDP is seeking through the courts, is not proportional to the crime that they are alleging in their petitions. These grievances ARE NOT SUFFICIENT TO OVERTURN THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. When Eustace stated that the NDP have “unmistakable proof that the elections were stolen”, he was simply talking cloth. I suspect out of sheer ignorance and possible hubris, some electoral officers maybe guilty of breaking certain electoral procedural laws. I believe these “irregularities” that the NDP are talking about, are areas that can be improved upon with proper training and rigid adherence to the electoral laws; no matter how insignificant it may appear to the electoral officers. For the sake of transparency and accountability, the office of the Supervisor of Elections must do a better job in addressing these obvious shortcomings for future elections.
…by the way, I saw Peter Binose at this NDP WAKE in Layou over the weekend. In an apparent attempt to stir the people; Peter Binose put himself on a cross and he told the people, “crucify me! Let me die for my people. Stone me with stones as you stone Jesus, I will love you still. And when they start to stone him in truth he get vex and start to cuss: “Get me down! Get me down! he say. Let every sinnerman bear his own blasted burden; who is I to die for people who ain’t have sense enough to know that they can’t pelt a man with big stones when so much little pebbles lying on the ground”. [The dragon can’t dance-Earl Lovelace]…the best laugh I had for the day..LOL
Peter wait Peter wait, Peter, look Cleve Lewis by the gate…
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