Founder of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell has “warned” party supporters of a change in the colour that the party will use for the election campaign.
The NDP, over the last two decades, had settled on yellow as its colour, and that had seemed to be the case for this election until Saturday’s announcement in Bequia, where the former prime minister was also wearing yellow.
“Now, since I made that little statement, ‘Ah fed up ah Ralph, they gone crazy. They want to know how is it I can come up with such a short sentence. I think about these things a lot and I chat with people and I get the feeling on the ground and it is important to give that message out,” he told the opening of the campaign headquarters of NDP President and Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday.
“I want to warn you of a big change in this campaign — a campaign aimed as your PRO said, the anthem of the New Democratic Party, one people, one Vincy, one country,” he said, misquoting the slogan, “One Nation! One People! One Vincy!”
Sir James said that “to target the swing voters, we have to break up this tribalism in St. Vincent between red and yellow and our t-shirts, this time, will be white,” he said, adding that they will include the party’s logos.
“… but win election by bringing the people together and St. Vincent needs to be brought together and NDP will show that we mean business to bring the people together.
The 89-year-old leader expressed confidence that the NDP will win the next general election, which Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said, on Sunday, will be held before the beginning of Nine Mornings, on Dec. 16 — ahead of the March 2021 constitutional deadline.
He further stated:
“But, I will assure you that my concern after winning the election is making sure we win again. And I will do all that I can to help with the government and strategy to make sure that we win and win again.
“And that is going to be a rough thing because we have the problem of COVID, we have the problem of the collapse of our tourism, we have the problem of the collapse of our agriculture and we even have a collapse of the system of justice.
He said he lost EC$540,000 clearing his name in the inquiry into the Ottley Hall Marina project, which was conducted under his government.
“… but I am only speaking to you and I know all of you, not only here but in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, would never have listened to me if they had thrown me in jail but I have proven that we did no corruption and we had a good government…”
Sir James expressed confidence in the NDP’s slate of candidates to contest the upcoming general election.
“I am satisfied we have a good team and we have a good team, with God’s help we will be able to perform,” he said.
He said that the last time he was seriously involved in an NDP campaign was in the constitution referendum, when the NDP convinced the electorate to reject proposed changes to the Constitution the nation inherited from Britain at independence in 1979.
The referendum was conducted as if it were an election campaign and if it were an election, the NDP would have won 13 of the 15 parliamentary seats, with the other two going to the ruling Unity Labour Party.
However, in the December 2010 general elections, the ULP was returned to power by a one-seat majority, having lost four of the seats it held in the previous poll — a result that was repeated in 2015.
Sir James said:
“Now that they know I am here, you are going to hear everybody attacking Son Mitchell again. But, don’t worry; nobody throws a stone at a dead dog. Don’t be worried and I know one secret in politics, which I will share with the party always. It’s the secret of timing. I have some shots in reserve for ULP that I will not release until the parliament is dissolved.”
Sir James retired from competitive politics in October 2000 — after 16 years as prime minister.
He demitted office at a time when the NDP was at its most unpopular. The party went on to lose the March 2001 elections, retaining just three of the 12 seats it held in parliament as the ULP won the vote 12 seats to three.
Mitchel say im fed-up ah Ralph, but wah, Jus who ena St Vincent and the Grenadines nah fed-up ah Ralph and im cronies dem? Sure de majority ah we fed-up ah dem an he yes!
Who but an idiot nah go get fed-up ah he, dis autocrat dat did meck imself king over we? Carze wah, fo twenty years now de man an im posy ah bring we nothing but joblessness an grief wid im foolishness bout socialism. Socialism dat im never really practise. All we get fram him is begging nepotism and cronyism!
Wah see de U.S.A and dem alliances, call dem dem (the Democracies) dem now ah up against dem communist China man dem an dem alliances, call dem (the Autocracies) carze wah?
In dem Democracies daay, dem Parliaments/Senates are entirely and totally supreme, but see yah, with dese Autocracies, only the will ah one man is wah count. Even dooh it be falty! Dat nah right dread!
In China its de man Xi Jinping, in Venezuela its de man Nicolás Maduro an im crew, in Nicaragua its Daniel Ortega an im family, an in SVG well its dis old washed up man Ralph Gonsalves an im family. Is waay? Meck only him and dem alone here who ha voice ena SVG? Are all we dat dunce? Time fo change man! We well fed-up ah he!
Nothing you’ve said makes an ounce of sense. You must go away and learn how to explain yourself and do try and find some evidence to support your naivety
I thought Dr Friday was the leader of the NDP. No Mitchelle. Friday must assert his authoriy as the leader of the NDP.
Having lost four elections, two of them narrowly. What the NDP needs is more a change in strategy. A strategy.win the election.
Perhaps, Sir James has a strategy which includes change of colours.
But a different strategy is better coming from the party leader, rather than the former leader.
Don’t be surprise if the ULP exploit this issue.
There real problems affecting the country and many will be sidetracked and the emphasis will be on the change of tee shirt color. This shows how petty we are and loves to give relevance to none issues. I can bet my last dollar on this premise!
All around the globe we see many autocratic rulers in charge, from Venezuela to North Kores, From Turkey to Uganda, for them, what matters most and what they all have in common is that they think that only they and their immediate family matters in the country’s decision making, though they show gross incompetence in economics.
In Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe departed this life leaving the country bankrupted, in India the Ghandi family was no better, in Cuba Fidel Castro went to meet his maker leaving the Cubans as paupers, in Haiti the Duvalier’s left Haiti the poorest country in the Caribbean while the Gonsalves have us here in SVG the 4th poorest.
In Sudan, we see that its former leader Bashir is now on trial, as a result of which, exiles are expressing hope for the future now that they are returning home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoTMrFI7JoM
The overriding question for Mitchel should be this, will we ever get our country back from the Gonsalves family?
Founder of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell:
“we have the problem of COVID, we have the problem of the collapse of our tourism, we have the problem of the collapse of our agriculture and we even have a collapse of the system of justice”.
Now let that sink in!!!
No you are not going to get st. Vincent back from ulp. They are there to stay. Ralph has done wonders to the country. […] Ralph is doing wonders, so whatever you all is carrying on with its going to be a big fight to get him out.
Is the man is senile?. Does he believe that Vincentians are so stupid to vote for a party based on campaign T-shirt colour change?
Mitchell was not prime minister for 16 years. Please collect this error.
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