Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, left, and his son incumbent MP for East St. George, Camillo Gonsalves. (Photo: Lance Neverson/Facebook)

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has defended his son, Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves, amidst a comment by former prime minister Sir James Mitchell that a vote for the older Gonsalves is a vote for the son.

“This political exercise, when you get it down to nuts and bolts, it is vote Ralph and get Camillo,” Sir James said on Boom FM on Oct. 13.

“When you see the pictures of their advertisement, you see Ralph and Camillo and [Minister of Agriculture] Saboto [Caesar], but look at the smirk on Camillo’s face,” Sir James said, referring to a campaign billboard for Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party, which is seeking a historic fifth consecutive five-year term in office in elections on Thursday.

“That smile on his face tells the whole story. Visual images are there, you know,” Sir James said.

Both Caesar, who is seeking a third consecutive term as MP for South Central Windward, and the younger Gonsalves, who is seeking a second term in East St. George, are being presented as potential successors for the older Gonsalves, who is 74.

“I know that as a former prime minister, you really think Ralph planning to last five terms? He wants to install Camillo. That’s it in a nutshell and that mood is there inside the country you know, and that’s what has people fed up,” said Sir James, 89, who was prime minister from 1984 to October 2000.

Former prime minister, Sir James Mitchell holds up a bumper sticker on Boom FM on Oct. 13. (Photo: Boom FM/Facebook)

But, speaking at a ULP rally in Arnos Vale on Sunday, the prime minister responded to Sir James, saying:

“Ah hear James Mitchell have an ad. He says yo’ vote Ralph, you get Camillo. But the point is this. Camillo is me son, I got him all the time. Yo’ vote me, yo’ always get Camillo because Camillo by my side.

“And every job I ever give him he has performed with distinction. James Mitchell, is not my fault that none ah yo’ pickney them decide they going come into politics. So wha’ you wah tek it out pon Camillo fah?  If yo’ wah beat up somebody, beat up the comrade. Beat up the comrade. Doh pick pon Camillo.”

Some of Gonsalves’ critics have said that every job that Camillo, a lawyer, has had in SVG was given to him by his father.

The younger Gonsalves was senior crown counsel before becoming the nation’s ambassador to the United Nations.

He was later appointed a senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2013 before running in East St. George, a traditional labour seat, in 2015 and was elected.

In 2017, the younger Gonsalves succeeded his father as Minister of Finance, a portfolio, which in SVG, is traditionally held by the prime minister.  

12 replies on “Gonsalves responds to Sir James’ ‘vote Ralph, get Camillo’ comment”

  1. Its very true, we vote Ralph, we get Camillo and the dynasty gets entrenched, as our suffering continues! Long live the Plantation!

  2. It sounds to me that the PM has no argument to Sir James implication. We can easily see that what Sir James is implying is true, and Ralph Gonsalves TOOK THE BAIT and is affirming it!
    None of the “side facts” the PM says hold water! Sir James IS ATTACKING THE COMRADE AND NOT CAMILLO! Ralph Gonsalves is always accusing others of things they did not do. Conversely he attacks two NDP candidates and in the next sentence says he will not attack them! He constantly contradicts himself and believes people do not catch it.
    Ralph Gonsalves has GIVEN the Boy Wonder everything he has. HE HAS EARNED NOTHING, but he twists that backwards!!! It seems he also wants to “give” him the position of Prime Minister, possibly knowing that he cannot win that post in a fair election.

  3. The longest rope has an end , that to will past, a day will come. Father, teach us to number our days, that we will apply our hearts unto wisdom
    Amen

  4. Percival Thomas says:

    Vincentian VOTERS decide who will be PM of SVG. Not Ralph and the ULP.
    Today Vincentians are deciding who they want to be PM. Ralph it is hivhly unlikely it will be you.

    1. Percival, now that the election is over, we again have Ralph…at least for now. Our PM has indicated very strongly that at some time HE WILL DECIDE when we will get Camillio.
      Elections are strange: More people voted NDP than ULP for the first time in many decades, but the NDP even lost a seat. More people even voted for Trump, in spite of all the cheating in the USA, but they get Biden. Kamala Harris will be more in charge, although there are actually others that will control them both.
      I suppose it is all Democracy at work.

  5. Nathan 'Jolly' Green says:

    All the other rimmers and snurgers will eventually realise when it is too late that Camillo is the chosen one.

    They are all fodder to the dynasty, chosen to make Camillo look good and help him into the Prime Minister position. No one else has a cat in hells chance of achieving that. Despite the fact there may be better choices it will be Camillo, the whole Camillo, and nothing but Camillo.

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