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Opposition New Democratic Party candidate for Central Leeward, Ben Exeter. (iWN file photo)
Opposition New Democratic Party candidate for Central Leeward, Ben Exeter. (iWN file photo)

New Democratic Party candidate for Central Leeward Ben Exeter became emotional on Thursday as he said he has remained true to his promise to constituents five years ago to fight on their behalf.

Exeter, who, as a first time candidate, failed in his bid to win Central Leeward for the NDP in 2015, said that after his years in Canada, he came back to SVG to give back. 

“I left as a boy and returned as a man, thankful for what this country has given to me and my mother and father: understanding the value of hard work and charity,” he said at the NDP’s virtual meeting broadcast on social media and radio on Thursday.

“When the election of 2015 was stolen, the people of Central Leeward stood with me on that fateful day of the recount — we stood side by side, and it was your presence that gave me the strength to overcome fraud and illegal activities that stole the elections from under us,” he said as he heaved a heavy sigh, removed his glasses and wiped his eyes as his voice appear to break.

“It was your presence that gave me strength when they locked me up –as I heard your voices outside the barracks,” he said.

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Ben was arrested on Dec. 29 amidst formalities and protest as the parliament opened after the Unity Labour Party was returned to office for a fourth consecutive term.

He was charged with resisting the arrest of two police officers and assaulting one of them.

“It was your presence on social media, and many of you in the courtroom as we fought for justice during the election petition,” said Exeter, who was freed of the charges in November 2016 when Magistrate Rickie Burnett upheld a submission by defence counsel Kay Bacchus-Baptiste — now an NDP senator and candidate — to throw out the charges for want of prosecution.

Shabazaah GunMunro George, then a student and NDP youth activist who filmed Exeter’s arrest was also charged and later freed of the charges.

“You stood with me, as I’ve stood with you — fighting for what is rightfully ours. Not turning away and not running away,” said Exeter, who, along with Lauron “Sharer” Baptiste, the NDP candidate for North Windward, brought petitions challenging the results of the 2015 vote.

The petitions were dismissed for lack of evidence and Exeter and Baptiste have filed appeals challenging the ruling of the court. 

“So here I am, again, still standing. And here you are, too, still standing. We are still standing and ready to fight back. We refused to be broken. We are ready to fight back. We shall stand together. We shall march together. And we shall make the change together,” Exeter said.

He added:

“We know that this will be a fight and we are ready for that fight. In fact, since 2015, we never stopped fighting. So that fight continues.

Unbowed! Unconquered! Uncompromised! Central Leeward, we are standing together and we are fighting back. We shall go forward on our feet and not on our knees.

“St Vincent and the Grenadines, we are standing together and we are fighting back.

Elections are around the corner. Don’t let them catch you off guard,” he said and urged persons to register to vote.

11 replies on “Ben emotional but ‘Unbowed! Unconquered! Uncompromised!’”

  1. Fidus Achates says:

    You can fight all you want Exeter but you’re dealing with some serious dark powers and principalities in this regime. They will again to whatever it takes to get back into power.

  2. When one talk of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the ULP administration that we sadly have been saddled with for the past two decades, in order to understand our ongoing disaster, we have to look at both Fidel Castro’s Cuba, that well known Marxist and also at Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

    We have to do so for this reason, that Ralph Gonsalves have modelled himself after both of these two men, much to our sad cost. Both Castro and Chavez had described themselves as Marxist. However what could we have expected from Ralph Gonsalves and his ULP administration?

    A few years ago the oppressed peoples of Cuba and Venezuela finally saw the back of both Castro and Chavez but we here sadly in SVG, yet continue to suffer the consequence of our having Ralph Gonsalves dictating to us, and also doing what he does best, much to our very, very sad cost.

    Indeed, one would have expected that a British left wing correspondent, one Rory Carroll, reporting some seven years ago for The Guardian Newspaper, a left wing British publication, one would expect him to have better to say about both Chavez and Maduro, but what he had to say then, reminds us so much of Ralph Gonsalves and his ULP administration. Yet what he had to say is not at all surprising.

  3. Hashtag Prince says:

    I still hold the conviction that you should publicly apologize to the Registration Officer, Mr. Vibert Pierre whom you disrespected at the registration centre, if you really came back as a man. Set the example for the youth in conflict-resolution and go forward from there. It would not hurt your candidacy.

    l am sure this would redound to your character in terms of humility, and respect for elders, and those in authority.
    That humble strength lies within you dear Sir. There is still a path for these qualities to be displayed in good places in politics. Now is your chance to score good marks with the constituents. They will forgive you even if it is brought up in the campaign trail.

  4. I urge all Vincentian to become Very familiar with the written constitution of St vincent and the Grenadines and to ascert all rights and privileges afforded them by it
    Understand its content and its relevance to our time.
    Know whats in it Especially School age Children.
    Get a copy and read it.

  5. Ben, you are a man with good moral and integrity, they can’t take it away. We love your accent.
    Like to hear you speak. When they throw dirt on you and they will, just shake it off and step on it. Use it as fertilizer to get stronger.
    Isaiah 51..7 Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults, for the moth will eat them up like garment, the worm will devour them like wool.
    Remember that there is a spy in the sky.

  6. I do not know much about many of the politicians in SVG but this Ben Exeter has a tenacity that any hard-working person that is not a quitter has to admire! In that way he is inspirational to those that never give up and want to succeed. A real bulldog work ethic.

  7. The simple fact that Ben you are not going to win. You don’t have enough galvanizexperience sheets b to five away.

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