The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) is a falling party and the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) will win all 13 seats on mainland St. Vincent, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told supporters in Biabou Saturday night.
He said that with his statement, the NDP would attempt to regroup, but would not stop what he suggests would be a political massacre.
Gonsalves, whose ULP is seeking a historic fifth consecutive five-year term in office, said that the NDP had a public meeting scheduled for Rose Place Friday night that “did not get off the ground”.
The NDP had announced, days in advance, that the Rose Place meeting would be postponed because its Central Kingstown candidate, St. Clair Leacock, was launching his campaign office.
The prime minister also said that the NDP had a public meeting scheduled for Frenches and “there were three or four people, after half an hour”, so the party’s candidate, Dwight Fitzgerald Bramble “called it a day, or a night”.
“Now, if he had any guts, he woulda stand up and talk to whoever was there and hoping people would be listening in their bedrooms or in their living rooms. But these fellas don’t have the belly and they want to run for politics and represent people?” Gonsalves said.
“If you can’t take time to educate the people in Frenches, even though you don’t see anybody there, when you reach in government to have to deal with serious, serious business regionally and internationally, you will crumble, you will take up your bed and walk.”
He said that the NDP was also supposed to have a “warm up” in Chateaubelair Friday night but “they didn’t have anybody to talk so they just had to play music.
“It was a bolo. That is all it was. You know you can tell when the pressure is getting to a party and the pressure is getting to the NDP and is everybody now for themselves.
“Now that I talk like this, they will try to regroup, because I am talking like this, but I am telling you, they are so disorganised is it is impossible for them to regroup. What I want to demonstrate to you is that they are disorganised right now, how could ever they be organised for government? You can’t take that chance particularly in these very challenging times,” Gonsalves said.
The ULP came to office in 2001 with a 12-3 majority, a mandate the electorate renewed in 2005, before slashing to one seat, in 2010, the majority that the party held in the 15-seat parliament.
The party was returned to office in 2015 with a one-seat majority after polls, the result of which the NDP challenged in court and lost after a full trial.
Gonsalves said that once ULP supporters go to the polls, the NDP “will get a massive licking in this election as though they have never had.
“They are on track to lose support in every single constituency. And I am expecting us to win all 13 constituencies on St. Vincent,” he said.
He said that in addition to the eight seats that the ULP currently holds, it will in North Leeward, where Roland “Patel” Matthews, a two term MP held on to his seat by 12 votes in 2015.
Gonsalves has also listed South Leeward in the ULP column, saying that his party’s candidate, political newcomer Mineva Glasgow, is doing well against two-term MP, the NDP’s Nigel “Nature” Stephenson.
“But I tell you this, Daniel Cummings only won his seat by 444 votes and in town, that could turn around very easily and we are in the process of turning that around in West Kingstown as I speak to you here tonight.”
In West Kingstown, the NDP’s Cummings is bidding for a third term, while the ULP’s Deborah Charles will make her second attempt to unseat him.
“And the Major said, [St. Clair] Leacock said that he was going everywhere else to campaign and that he wasn’t going to be around in his constituency. Well, last night, when I reach at the Prime Minister’s Residence at midnight, I hear Leacock voice at meeting up Sharpes, because he is running really scared.”
Leacock, who is seeing a third term in office, held the official launch of his campaign headquarters with a public meeting in Redemption Sharpes on Friday night.
“Leacock only has a majority in town of 513. Parnell Campbell had a larger majority than that in 1994 and we overturned that in Central Kingstown by 1998.” Gonsalves said.
“We know how to overturn majorities in Kingstown once we have a very good candidate and a national momentum and we have both in Central Kingstown and a more experienced candidate now in West Kingstown.
“I want to say to say to you that also in the Grenadines they are losing support. I know the majorities, percentage-wise, are high against us in the Grenadines, but we are making progress, but I can tell you on the mainland, be prepared to win 13 seats. I’m greedy this election. Ah want all 13.”
Gonsalves said he was told that there were more people at the ULP’s event in Biabou than at the NDP’s national rally and manifesto launch, which was taking place at the same time in Petit Bordel.
“But I just want to remind you that as important as crowds are, crowd by themselves do no win elections. Now that we have had the closure of the 15-day special registration period, it means that within a few days we are going to get the final list and we are going to get the final list on which we are going to contest the next general elections.
“I want you to make sure you know where your polling station is. Look it up, check it out and if you don’t look it up yourself, ask a friend to look it up for you. And on Thursday, the 5th, you go to the polls early at 7 o’clock in the morning. Polls would close regularly at 5,” Gonsalves said.
He said that Cabinet would approve a special voting period, after polls close for persons who are in quarantine or isolation in relation to COVID-19