Leader of the opposition and President of the New Democratic Party, Godwin Friday, greet party supporters at the rally in Kingstown. (iWN photo)

Leader of the New Democratic Party, Godwin Friday says St. Vincent and the Grenadines is experiencing a political and economic crisis and has called on party supporters to spread a message of hope.

“We have a political crisis in the country because we had an election in 2015 and we still don’t know if the government was duly elected. We believe they were not and that is why we have these petitions in the court. That is a political crisis,” he told a party rally in Kingstown Wednesday night.

Friday said that matter will be resolved soon, a reference to the two petitions his party has filed challenging the result of the vote, which said the Ralph Gonsalves government was returned to office — for a fourth term — by a second one-seat majority.

“We have an economic crisis in this country. Ask the farmers how it is that they are making a living,” he said, adding that at an NDP consultation in Fitz Hughes recently, a farmer said that all the fields that he used to cultivate are now growing grass.

“This is all over the country. We can do better.”

Friday, who is also Leader of the Opposition, said that the agriculture ministry was given to Saboto Caesar, whom he noted, had spoken plainly in the parliament earlier that day when he said that the prime minister does not have the legal or moral authority to speak for him.

Caesar made the point as the opposition was trying to get the government to rule in its favour and allow debate of a motion of no confidence, rather than the confidence motion that the government’s amendment turned the original submission into.

“They gave it (agriculture ministry) to Saboto Caesar and the Ministry of Agriculture is completely without leadership and direction because they are moving from one project to another — seem to be dictated by politics — not by anything to do with making anything,” Friday said.

“This is where the country is today. But, brothers and sister, we can do better. Don’t let anybody tell you that things are so bad in St. Vincent but they could be worse if it wasn’t for them. We have seen under past NDP governments that this country progressed,” he told party supporters at Heritage Square.

Friday addresses NDP supporters at the rally. (iWN photo)

Friday called on NDP supporters to spread a message of hope in the face of what he said were difficult times.

“We are busy trying to make ends meet. But, in the meantime, what is happening in our country, in St. Vincent; we can’t recognise ourselves anymore because we have lost so much. There are those who seem to be hell-bent on taking our dignity from us as a nation, economically,” he told the rally.

Friday, who is also Member of Parliament for the Northern Grenadines, said that things in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are difficult and people go along everyday trying to feed themselves, send their children to school, pay their bills, and meet the cost of medical emergencies.

“If you can’t make a living, you have to go and beg somebody. Poverty takes your dignity away from you. If they keep you poor, they keep you dependent and they figure that way they would control how you vote,” he said of the Gonsalves-led Unity Labour Party government.

He said NDP supporters have to commit themselves to say that they will come out whenever the party calls.

“You are not just coming to support NDP. You are coming to defend your country. You’re coming to stand up and to say, ‘We want a better St. Vincent and the Grenadines.’

“So, let us, tonight, commit to this as the start of something. It is not the end; we are not going to stop until we change government in this country.

Some persons who voted for the ULP, including in the last election, say that under the NDP they were doing better, Friday said, adding that some of these persons had supported the ULP for change but say no more.

He said the NDP must bring about a change but can’t do it without the commitment of all the people at the rally.

“And for you to take the message from this place. We are forming a pact here tonight, that you will take the message from this place, from Heritage Square, that our mission when we go out is to change St. Vincent and the Grenadines and we start by changing the government in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

He said the NDP is a lawful people and will change the government through legal means.

“Because we want to see a brighter day.”

NDP supporters have to reach out to people who support or supported the ULP, Friday said, telling NDP faithful that some ULP supporters are confused.

“They feel that they have this blind loyalty to a political party that makes promises to them and every election passes, the promises get sweeter but they deliver less.

“So we have to encourage them. You have to commit with us that you will go out and spread this message. You will encourage them to say your country comes first, not just political party and that we all have to try and make things better as we can do.

“And I promise you that for us here, the leadership of the NDP, we will govern for everybody in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. That is the only way that we can progress. It is in our own self-interest to do so. But more than that, it is our own commitment because that is the best way for us to go forward as nation.”

He said the nation cannot do well when one half is doing well and the other is catching hell.

“How can you live comfortably when you see your neighbour is struggling? We should be able to help each other, to pull each other up. You vote at election time, but after that, you have to work together, because that is the only way you can build our country,” Friday the NDP rally.

12 replies on “SVG facing political, economic crisis — opposition leader”

  1. Changes in government in SVG has made little or no difference except to replace those who receive handouts, gratuities, sinecures, privileges, etc. with their counterparts in the other party.

    Meanwhile, we are destined to be a have-not country until kingdom come because we have so little potential for large-scale economic growth.

  2. Vincy in New York says:

    Who is C. ben David?

    Dude, u r part of the problem because u r not volunteering solutions. Things are bad in SVG. What are your proposals to stem the decline?

    Everywhere I look u r placing dark clouds and heaping coals of fire over the heads of Vincentains. U r always singing the blues and harboring pessimism. Dude, have u ever thought that u r doing a disservice to the entire country?

    U wrote 1000 essays, I couldn’t catch up, on why Argyle woild not work. However, u do not seem to be realistic enough to know that the project has g9ne too far to be abandoned. Therefore, the project is with us to stay and u need to focus on how to make the airport viable. Singing the blues about how backward vincies are do not help the situation.

    What r your proposals to turn around the situation? ULP or NDP, the politicians are the fat cats, and the ppl fight over the crumbs. Tell us how how to remedy this situation. U constantly tell us vincies that we have little potential. Degrading and vilifying us at any opportunity. Please, I hope that u do not have kids because if u do u r a classical psychopath – cursing the darkness instead of turn8ng on a light.

    1. You make some very good points! You are right that C. ben has not made any suggestions for change. At the same time often mentioning the problem dictates the solution.. I believe there is potential in Saint Vincent and Vincentians. The airport was a mistake. Anyone with two working brain cells knows this by now. Doing things to make it work is going to be far more difficult than it was to build it. Obviously we have to change our way of doing things, our entire system of Economics is wrong. It is impossible to tax a country into wealth. You can only tax a country into poverty. Our MAIN REASON why we are getting poorer is because government taxes, fees and duties are way way way too high. There is more, but I am not writing an essay when so many people do not have a clue when it comes to economics, especially our government.

      1. Argyle airport was not a mistake. It was build because the kingdom of God is coming to give my country a face lift.

  3. Rafael Stefania says:

    Some people, Like C.Ben, are always criticizing but never contributing toward a solution. Expose the people to the realities in other islands in the neighborhood and see how they feel about their own situation. See if they won’t be fired up to fight for change and progress.

  4. New face, same old story. Well according to Dr Friday, a farmer had told him recently during a tour on the LEEWARD side of the island, (his) lands, are being taking over by GRASS. only one farmer, how about the others? Let’s hear what they have to say. So in other word, the Ministry of Agriculture is inactive, but if that’s the case, why are we talking Cocoa/Coffee/Sour-sap/Butternut Squish/Arrowroot/Medicinal Marijuana etc?

    However, I could not recall a dead Ministry, I saw a vibrant, hardworking, energetic intelligent Minster, the Hon Saboto Caesar, trying his very best to secure market for our produce.

    1. I agree with you. There are things going on in agriculture at present. Although Godwin Friday is far far ahead of Ralph Gonsalves in Economics, his observation of agriculture is wrong. Saboto Caesar is one of the few ULP worth saving. Most all the others are just there to lick Ralph’s boots.

  5. Oh no Vincy, the man claimed he is a retired professor, what more can I say. Those students must have felt embarrassed knowing the poor taste that this idiot has exhibited in recent years.

    I’ve been blasting this so-called intellectual from inception, the man has spent numerous hours writing garbage. This dude is a complete embarrassment, big time.

    His poisonous attack on every sector of society. How could I join with this fool and lambast the place I called home?

    I’m so sick of this clown called C.Ben David. Nothing uplifting, critique after critique without offering any help. Countless topics out there, but no his fixation is bringing this country to its knees, it’s not going to work, your strategy needs to be reviewed, fool.

    1. All of you are helping to bring the country to its knees.Listen to your selves. You are cursing the man and not giving any solutions your selves.

  6. We need a new Government for sure. When I was in SVG 49 YEARS ago, I was so poor I couldn’t pay attention and although Colonarie school was free, I believe, I couldn’t go back after I came home for lunch because we have nothing to eat. I didn’t even had breakfast the morning only a cut of cocoa tea which i vomited up because it was so rich. However, I said all that to say this; God took me out almost 50 years ago to bring me back in with a Jubilee Anointing of the Kingdom of God to turn St Vincent into a garden of Eden. This is the Government SVG need. Not another man made government; they all fail because they do not put God first and ask for his wisdom of how to run things. So that’s it. It is his time to turn things around. It will be 50 years next year and I am coming back home. 50 years is Jubilee. Freedom for all who have ears to hear what the Spirit of God is saying.

  7. I HAVE a question. Who is really running St Vincent? I’ll tell you! Look at Jamaica and you got your answer. Foreigners have gone into Jamaica and took over while they were asleep. SVG IS ALSO SLEEPING AND NEED AN AWAKENING.

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