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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, left, and Opposition Leader Godwin Friday. (Photos: ULP & NDP/Facebook)
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, left, and Opposition Leader Godwin Friday. (Photos: ULP & NDP/Facebook)
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The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has welcomed Governor-General Dame Susan Dougan’s advice to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves that he lead an inclusive government.

However, the party’s president, Godwin Friday, said in a national address Wednesday night that the prime minister’s response suggests that he is unwilling to heed the call.

Friday said that Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party (ULP) has become a minority government in its fifth term in office, having lost the majority vote, even as it now controls nine seats in the 15-member parliament, one more than in its fourth term.

 “This minority government has resulted notwithstanding the widespread exploitation of state resources by the ULP to influence voters and the widespread buying of votes in key constituencies,” Friday said.

“Clearly these circumstances, including the meagre margins of the results at the recent polls and the unfavourable decisions in the final count in North Leeward, which gave the seat to the ULP candidate, cast a dark and growing shadow over the legitimacy of the new ULP government.”

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He noted that at Gonsalves’ swearing in ceremony last Saturday, the Governor-General expressed her intention to support all and urged Gonsalves as prime minister to be inclusive in the way he governs.

 “That is welcome advice. If nothing else, it should remind Dr. Gonsalves that after taking office, he should not continue with the politics of divide and rule, of victimisation based on partisan politics, and with the immoral exclusion of over half of our people from constructive engagement in the processes of governing and from sharing the benefits of our nation’s resources,” Friday said.

“Regrettably, from his responses, including references to ‘a cock-eyed notion of democracy’, and the blatantly false suggestion that he has always sought ‘to include the opposition at all levels’, there is little hope that this advice will be followed,” Friday said. 

In his response to the governor-general at the ceremony, Gonsalves said:

“I have always sought to put my hand out in friendship and to include the opposition at all levels. Of course, there has to be recognition, always, that the reason why we are in government is because we won more seats and, therefore, it would be a cockeyed notion of democracy for anyone to think that by having a government that it must submit its agenda to those whom, when there was an argument, a discussion, different options put to the public and the public, the electorate chose one particular perspective and the perspective which they chose, the overall strategic direction is that offered by the Unity Labour Party and its leadership.”

 Friday said that the circumstances in SVG demand hope, in all its aspects.

“And we will, by all proper means, at our disposal ensure that the majority voice of the people which the NDP now represents will not be silenced or marginalised.  We will be heard and will insist on shaping the direction of our country’s future.”

He spoke of “the worsening cyst which continues to fester in our body politic. 

 “That is, Dr. Gonsalves and the ULP government’s continuing disregard for the rights of the three NDP teachers who contested elections in 2010 and his spiteful refusal to ensure that they receive from government what our court has said they are entitled to.

“On behalf of the majority of the people and my great party, I call on Dr. Gonsalves and the ULP government to end its ongoing victimisation of these patriotic Vincentians and obey the judgment of the court,” Friday said.

He said that in replying to the governor-general’s exhortations to be inclusive, Dr. Gonsalves “basically confirmed his intention to continue along the path of division and exclusion that he followed over the years”.

Friday said this is a far cry from the stance which Gonsalves and the ULP adopted in 1998, when his party won the popular vote and the NDP won the majority of the seats. 

“At that time, they argued that:

‘The ULP acknowledges that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has a first-past-the-post electoral system and that in a narrow legal sense, the NDP has the right to be called upon to form the government for the time being.  But politics and good governance have always been more than narrow legalisms. A truly functioning democracy demands that the consent of the governed, that is, the consent of real flesh-and-blood voters, be obtained.  Fifty-five percent of the voters have stated unequivocally that they do not want to be ruled by the NDP’” Friday said.

“At that time, the ULP called for dialogue with the NDP aimed at working out an interim arrangement pending fresh elections, which they proposed should take place within six months. They appealed to the Christian Council, the Chamber of Commerce and other social partners to act as brokers in the negotiation process.  

“But when Ralph Gonsalves became leader of the ULP in December 1998, he refused any form of co-operation with the NDP government, not even to attend official functions, including the welcoming of a foreign head of state and the ULP vowed to make the country ungovernable.

“This situation led to the so-called ‘road block revolution’ and ultimately to the shortening of the constitutional term of the NDP government,” Friday said.

“This historical experience is useful for context and consistency,” he further stated. 

9 replies on “PM signalled unwillingness to heed GG’s call for inclusive gov’t — Friday”

  1. Nathan 'Jolly' Green says:

    You do not think for a minute he will heed the word of an old bird who he once considered being closer to than his wife?

  2. The NDP should be desolved.
    The NDP is a very big danger to the future of St Vincent and tobtge Vincentian people

    Their China policy is dangerous to the Vincentian economy.
    China is known for its dominance in every country it pretends to help.

    China should not be trusted in any thing.

    I salute the Unjty Labour Party for its 5th win and thank God they have control of the country.

    The unity Labour Party, should not by any means trust the NDP have them participated in any sort of guidance for svg.

    The NDP should be abolished.

    1. Right Be. Do not forget that the NDP was almost successful in letting the Garifuna come here and take our homes. It has gotten so intense now that “mind-benders” are at work trying to make us think that we are poor, undeveloped and have many people out of work when in fact our PM (who was chosen by God and his “dignified” son is compared to Jesus) has created a land of milk and honey and therefore has been elevated to the highest position of World Boss.

  3. U hav to be Cocoon
    U definitely Benefitting frm d ULP
    U heard wat d GG Said But Yet hear ur Comments is people like u is Y The World is like dis u a Hater
    U must b Datin Ralph or His Son
    U so Damn Dotish

  4. Bible. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Thank God, that this world, earth is not none of us home. Our life is like a shadow. Teach us Lord, to number our days, so that we can apply our hearts unto wisdom. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God is for ever.

  5. Sanford A Charles says:

    BE is saying that the NDP should be desolved..
    I disagree
    With 25 years in Opposition and Camillo in waiting to do another 25 years, then St Vincent ought to be “” Ah One Party State “”.
    The NDP needs to do the work of an Opposition.
    There is a Scam Housing Development in Queensbury Vermont where the ULP Government used taxpayers money to buy and developed for Private Sale.

    The NDP members, MP’s are afraid to use the Floor of the House and ask Ralph and Julian about it.

    Ralph, Julian, Clico and Berrisford Phillips, the late Mr Morris Slater, VINLEC– CWSA — STONE MILL in LAYOU.

    The NDP being Nice to Ralp and Julian while they have their Knees on the Necks of the NDP members for at least another 25 years

    Do the Peoples business.

  6. The Garifuna people have more rights to this island than Camillo and Ralph. If Carlos was not born in SVG than he has to be added to this list. Why are people bringing God into this issue? Jesus believed he was forsaken, so who the hell is Ralph and his piss-arse supporters. Do these people believe God creates criminals?

  7. What I think the two partied should work together instead of bickering. The people there need help
    If this fighting goes on with heads of party what will become of the people who need guidance to live. Nothing cant be accomplish with this nonsense with he say or they say. Keep china out of the country. They will come in there and try to take over. They tried that in African countries and st.lucia but was booted out by the people. There are educated men and women in St. Vincent that can do a lot. Ralph has brought St Vincent out of bondage from when he took over from Mitchell ndp. Now its time for Friday and Gonzales to work together instead of bickering.

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