Opposition Senator Kay Bacchus-Baptiste. (iWN file photo)

An opposition lawmaker is claiming that Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is afraid to be succeeded in office by someone who might investigate his tenure.

New Democratic Party senator, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste told her party’s town hall meeting in New York last weekend that even the Prime Minister is gripped by the fear that she says pervades St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The senator said that three government parliamentarians had told her that they wanted to leave Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party administration but were afraid to do so.

Bacchus-Baptiste did not identify the politicians or say whether they are current Members of Parliament, but said one had approached her in 2014.

“My message here tonight is sober. I need to bring a message of hope, a message of love for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and that is what I intend to do as a candidate for West St. George. To remove the fear and the hopelessness that pervades St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Bacchus-Baptiste, a lawyer who is the NDP’s proposed candidate for West St. George in the next general elections, constitutionally due in March 2021.

She said that when she goes through the constituency, there is “this aura of oppression, depression, hopelessness and we have to lift that from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Bacchus-Baptiste said she wanted to bring a message of Vincy love rather than ‘Labour Love’, the slogan the ULP used in its campaign for the 2015 elections — in which it was returned to office for a fourth consecutive term.

“You see, they didn’t realise how divisive that was. When you say Labour Love, you are saying give the jobs only to labour supporters, to my child as they do it. So we say ‘One Nation, One People, One SVG’,” she said, reciting the slogan of NDP president and Opposition Leader, Godwin Friday.

Bacchus-Baptiste said that persons in SVG and even in the diaspora are being affected by “phobophobia” — or “fear of fear”.

“The undeniable legacy of the ULP regime, the Ralph Gonsalves regime is fear or phobophobia,” she said.

“This is very serious because we must conquer this fear that pervades St. Vincent and the Grenadines. So most of the time, it appears to be real and what happens, we become crippled by this fear. We become apathetic, even immune to this corruption. That is what is going on in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Our fear has suppressed our humanity …”

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)

Bacchus-Baptiste said part of what makes corruption so dangerous is the cynical response it generates that “they are all corrupt…” and hence making corruption commonplace and even acceptable.

“And you hear these ULP apologists saying that the NDP, they ain’t have no plan, they’re not ready yet, they’re just the same.

“All of this to excuse their inaction and to bury their conscience for seeing what is happening in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but still supporting the ULP.”

The senator said the irony is that ULP supporters “live in more fear than us”.

“They fear that they would lose their jobs, they fear that they would lose their perks, they would be victimised.

“They live in fear. And what is absolutely more ironical is that Ralph Gonsalves himself has now become the object of the fear that he has created in St. Vincent.

“He wants to go home. He is tired, he is fed up, but he is afraid to go. Why? Why? Because he is afraid of his own history and his own record and if he doesn’t set up a puppet to take over from him, then he would be investigated.

“His 17 years will be investigated. So he is crippled by his own fears,” Bacchus-Baptiste said of the 72-year-old leader who recently hinted that he would seek another term as prime minister, contrary to previous statements.

Bacchus-Baptiste said that three separate parliamentarians came to her office and told her that they wanted to leave the ULP but they were afraid to say so.

One of them was so fearful that they called her secretary and made an appointment as if they wanted a legal matter dealt with, she said.

This happened around 2014 and the persons told her that come election, she would be taking the platform for the NDP, the senator told the town hall meeting.

“Election came and there I saw the person sitting in his red shirt on the ULP platform. This is the type of fear I am speaking about. Another one and another one. Yes, Ralph, all your parliamentarians — most of them — they want to leave but they are fearful and so we have to pray, we have to break this fear that is over St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Bacchus-Baptiste said another reason for the fear is the spate of crime across the country.

“And persons are saying they have to lock in their house early, they have to close down early. But not even there, they are safe,” she said, noting that radio host Carlisle Douglas was shot while in his patio.

11 replies on “Gonsalves afraid to step down as PM — senator”

  1. Why don’t you and your people expose the exact details of all the corruption you are alleging, listing names, dates, amounts of money stolen or embezzled, etc.?

    You can’t do so because you don’t have any facts, on the one hand, and are afraid of being sued for slander, on the other, as many of your colleagues have been sucessfully sued over the years.

    Making crude, unsubstantiated generalization should be beneath the notice of a mature political party.

    1. The acts of corruption are in the newspapers daily. You are a smart guy, you can read. Why are you constantly defending the corruption of governments, especially this one? You also know the libel laws of SVG. When the NDP mentions that the ULP is corrupt why doesn’t the PM sue them like he usually does? It is because corruption is easily proven. Have you ever looked up the definition of corruption? You have listed less than 1% in your comment. Even if an employee takes a sheet of paper home for personal use for his child to draw on it is corruption. If you ask the NDP to prove there is corruption they would have to employ many people to spy on the government and have a daily report. Corruption is everywhere.

  2. NDP has to be strategic in their policies , the hey have not laid out what they will do to create jobs , fight crimes.They flip flop on foreign policy with respect to Taiwan and China. Too may chief and less Indians.
    .

  3. I am sure your absolutely right dear lady. What a dreadful photo, looks like he has taken a beating in the police interview room.

  4. Kay Baptiste Bacchus may be right. I thought it was as simple as Ralph Gonsalves wanting his son to take his place so that he can continue to run the country through his son. Obviously he does not want Saboto Caesar to take over because he probably is his own man and would not let Ralph Gonsalves control him. With the exception of Saboto Caesar all the other ULP do not have a chance. This is a problem of Ralph Gonsalves own making. With the exception of only a few, his relatives and Jomo Thomas, all of the ULP appear to have been silenced all this time. The only time they say anything is only with the full approval of the PM himself. The NDP on the other hand have been allowed to speak thier opinions. The NDP party is more of a Democracy and the ULP has been run like a dictatorship.
    I predict that Ralph Gonsalves will run again and if he wins he will retire immediately and hand over his job to his son. That will save him from investigation.

  5. Ricardo Francis says:

    Here are some questions and concerns:

    1. Is Ralph looking for a PUPPET in the ULP and or the NDP?

    2. Win and or lose: Ralph needs a PUPPET in either political party.

    3. Does Ralph Gonsalves have secrets for James Mitchell?

    4. Does James Mitchell have secrets for Ralph Gonsalves?

    5. ULP and or NDP: will it be the same show in town?

    6. Are their secrets between Ralph and Friday?

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a locked-down society by the brotherhood and sisterhood. They are the political and economic elites in SVG and they cross all political parties. They look after themselves, first, irrespective of their political differences.

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines needs new blood with new ideas and a leader who is fearless and courageous. I am very fearless.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

  6. Ms Bacchus, apart from being quite attractive and smart you are also a role-model for young ladies coming up in SVG. I’m proud of the fact that you are one of the few women leading the charge on the political front-lines, fighting for a better homeland and living-conditions for our people. We need more transparency in, among other things, the nations finances and decision making process. When the government is making major decisions, the people must have a say in it. Keep the Judiciary clean and independent of political parties. Help rebuild confidence in the rule of law. Fire some of those unqualified big-shots and replace them with proper qualified people. Know your enemies and give them no quarter. Ralf must be feeling the heat right about now, as the NDP gets closer to taking over. His propaganda-machine is running overtime, even here on this site.

  7. What is corruption?: When a Vincentian coast guard officer and family-man die in the line of duty and the culprits are sent home after a clearly bogus inquiry acquits them. When a vote of no confidence turns into a vote of confidence with help of the Judiciary without proper accountability. they simply come and say “sorry, we made a mistake” and that is the end of this scandalous travesty. When a symbol of the ruling party is placed at the airport using public funds without proper accountability. When our UN vote is sold for two rubber dinghies. When narcotics disappear from the police evidence lockup without any proper explanation and they find no wrongdoing. When foreign development-aid monies disappear into the coffers of the ruling party. When the top-cop is caught redhanded seducing a subordinate and the matter automatically goes away. When citizens are taxed to death when a privileged few live the high life while the country foots the bill. When only children of the ruling party supporters, who can afford it, get bursaries. When the son of the PM and his wife are put in charge of the nation’s finances over better-qualified people. […] When our birthright is being sold off in the Grenadines, where local people have to stage protest in order to visit the beach on holidays. When a government minister says that a woman is crazy after she exposes his extramarital affairs and then a judge then throws the woman in a mental-health-institute a day later in a bogus trial. That is corruption.

  8. Ricardo Francis says:

    Kenton, my friend and brother: why have you not published my comments on/for this article?

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

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