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Former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell in a 2017 iWitness News photo.
Former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell in a 2017 iWitness News photo.
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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has weighed in on the most recent public spat between ex-prime ministers and former leader of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), Sir James Mitchell and Arnhim Eustace.

There has been public animosity between both men, which began with Sir James’ public criticism of Eustace, his former finance minister, whose skills as an economist he had once praised.

Eustace, who is Member of Parliament for East Kingstown said that Sir James’ attitude to him changed when he reduced the former prime minister’s salary after Sir James demitted that office in 2001.

In an open letter to Sir James last month, Eustace said he did not think it fair for the country to be paying salaries to two prime ministers at the same time.

Sir James had remained as Member of Parliament for the Northern Grenadines until the March 2001 election, in which his successor in that district, Godwin Friday, retained the seat for the NDP.

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In 2016, Friday succeeded Eustace as NDP head and opposition leader.

“And, incidentally, I see Sir James take back his party,” Gonsalves told a press conference in Kingstown on Tuesday.

“He feel he got title deed for it. Eustace wrote many things inside of his letter but Eustace didn’t write that. Up to now, Eustace doesn’t realise that Mitchell is a founding father of the NDP — he say Mitchell co-founded it. Co-founded? As far as Mitchell is concerned, he founded it; is his own. And as far as he, Mitchell, is concerned, Eustace was playing fresh not to recognise that this thing, he has a title deed for it.”

Gonsalves said that while Mitchell doesn’t have a tangible title deed for the NDP, “in his mind, he has a title deed for it, is his property”.

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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves speaking at the press conference on Tuesday. (iWN photo)

The prime minister also used the opportunity to criticise the opposition leader, saying that his recent walks against crime and violence was in fact and opportunity for him to get to know the St. Vincent.

“Well, poor Friday. Friday ain’t know St. Vincent. He don’t even know how to get to Gordon Yard. That’s why he went walking.

“And Friday can’t resist Mitchell,” Gonsalves further said.

“Anything Mitchell tells him — what a sorry state for a leader. Yuh mekking a man who Eustace correctly said had lost appeal and was sliding downhill, Friday want to resurrect him from 45 per cent of the vote in 1998, where he led the NDP to bring him to ask people for him to take a frontline position in 2020?

“Man, Friday, be a big man, nuh. Don’t put ah old man in front ah you and shield yourself the thing. You call yourself leader? Come on. You going allow a man think he had title deed to come back for his party?” Gonsalves said.

The prime minister’s comments came at a press conference at which he suggested that he would seek a fifth term in office.

If he leads the Unity Labour Party into the next general elections, constitutionally due in March 2021, Gonsalves would have reneged on a promise he made to voters that he would transition to a new set of leaders during this term in office.

Gonsalves said he is confident that if he runs again as prime minister, he would win.

He, however, added that his confidence has nothing to do with vote rigging.

4 replies on “Founder Sir James has taken back NDP — Gonsalves”

  1. Every time Ralph Gonsalves opens his mouth to criticize Godwin Friday it shows how very much afraid of him he is.
    So far Friday has not made very many mistakes. Whenever he appears to make a mistake it is always blown out of proportion. Conversely whenever Ralph Gonsalves makes mistakes the press downplays or excuses them. Remember when he told Vincentians that he is appointed by God and that Camillo is like Jesus?
    Remember when Friday quoted the Bible once and Julian Francis criticized that, forgetting that Ralph Gonsalves quotes from the Bible more than any politician in the country? Remember the Soap Powder incident on Union Island where four people were killed and there was no investigation or trial? Patrick Ferrari just wrote about it. We ignore or forget all these things about Ralph Gonsalves but Ralph Gonsalves is searching high and low or just trying to create ammunition against Godwin Friday when there is almost none to be found. Like all low-life politicians he believes that by smearing his opponent, it makes himself look good, just as Gonsalves is doing in this instance.
    Notice that Godwin Friday NEVER resorts to such personal or character attacks and instead uses real facts and events instead of attempted character assassinations? It shows that Friday is a gentleman, what does that make our PM? Do we really want someone like this to continue representing us? The incident several months ago (along with poor performance) made it so he could not force his son upon us so he will probably convince the doltish to support him a fifth time, as he is afraid that Saboto Caesar may not move over for Camillo in the future, or continue the economic decline of the people that he has go greatly engineered.

  2. Ralph need to go and we don’t need mitchell either or friday. I have some confidence in camillo,he is the only man i saw fit to move this country to success. He have the brain and skills to do that. If Sir James coming back for leader of the NDP, I will disown my country. This man give up on vincy when vincy really need him, then came to Tortola in pastor charles church and said he saw the ship going down and he jump off because he ain’t going down with no ship. He used Arhim as a stepping stone for his failure. He said a lots of insulting words on vincentians, when fish will be in beqiua banana will dead on mean land. He even said vincentian have breadfruit mentallity and call the central market in town poor people palace. What we going do with that peace of shit again? We don’t need him.

  3. Hastag Prince says:

    Nice Jokes!!!

    Ralph can go to Barbados for Comedy Fest on October 27th.

    He can call his stage set, “Ask Ralph!”

    LOL!!! LOL!!! LOL!!!

    Truly speaking doh, de PM feeling uneasy by Opposition Leader Friday! (smile)!

    Time up Ralphie boii, time up!!!

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