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Opposition supporters on the picket line outside Parliament on Monday. (iWN photo)
Opposition supporters on the picket line outside Parliament on Monday. (iWN photo)

The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) says its lawmakers will support the government on matters that are “transparently” in the interest of the country.

On Monday, as the 11th Parliament convened for the first time, NDP President and Opposition Leader Godwin Friday told iWitness News of the party’s approach to this parliamentary term, its fifth in opposition.

“We are going to work on their behalf to bring to fruition as soon as possible the programme and the plans that they have embraced by supporting us as the majority party,” said Friday, who led the NDP in the Nov. 5 general elections, his first as party leader.

“That has to be our first and foremost priority and we have an obligation to seek to bring that into reality as soon as possible and you will find us very determined and vigorous in pursuing that agenda and the programmes that we have outlined, articulated in our campaign and prior to that and that we continue to hold as the way forward for the people of this country.”

While the Unity Labour Party won the election after taking nine of the 15 parliamentary seats, it won the popular vote for the first time since 1998.

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Friday opposition MPs
Opposition Leader Godwin Friday and other opposition lawmakers outside Parliament on Monday. (iWN photo)

Asked about the party’s overall approach to this parliamentary term, Friday said:

“In general terms, my plan is always to work on behalf of the people. There will be times when things are transparently within the interest of the country that we will support whether it comes from government or we initiate them because remember, we are the party that the people have chosen  … in the popular vote.

“So a lot of what we have put forward will have to be part of the public policy debate and implementation going forward.  And so, that is the approach that we are going to take.

“It’s to push to get the agenda to include those important issues that we raised that the people have embraced and when the government is willing to work on those issues. Of course, we will push to have them implemented.”

Asked if the majority vote is of any consequence in the Vincentian system of democracy, where the first-past-the-post principle determines the winner of the elections, Friday said, “…very much so.

“If you win by one vote in North Leeward, you get the seat so it’s a majority. In our system, a principle of democracy is that the majority forms the government. Sometimes in our system, the first-past-the-post system, that doesn’t happen. I don’t think that is the way it was intended to work. When it doesn’t happen, you should fix it. That is what we intend to do.”

3 replies on “NDP to support gov’t on matters ‘transparently’ in nation’s interest”

  1. We’ll see how transparency comes through in the matters of this government. Why does Friday think transparency with this government is magically gonna be at the forefront. NDP is still in opposition and Ralph will show you all that. He doesn’t care about transparency. Power is his motivation. He will do anything to retain power; transparency is not part of the agenda.

    1. I read your article on the site you posted. If we really are incurring so much debt from the airport, we can expect even bigger tax increases and more new taxes which means even less investment and more poverty. Anyone with a working brain can see that Tourism is not an industry to bet on! Long ago I have come to realize that the ruling family of SVG has the opposite philosophy of economics that I do. In Demand-side Economics it is believed that wealth comes from borrowing, spending and high taxes. In Supply-side Economics they believe wealth comes from encouraging investment by low taxes and less regulation. Obviously both those philosophies have to work together and find a ballance depending on the conditions of what country. WE NEED FAR MORE SUPPLY-SIDE! In SVG it is too obvious that our taxes are WAY TOO HIGH and investment USUALLY comes only from TEMPORARY FAVORITISM (usually concessions), and when the favoritism runs out so does the business run out.To lower taxes we would certainly have to reduce the size of our truly massive government! That is just one of many measures needed!
      The government (past and present) of SVG just has not yet figured it out…how to create an environment to reach a ballance where wealth can be created. Money has to first originate in the Private Sector and then, through revenue the government can attain the financial resources to function and maintain infrastructure. At the moment SVG has that backwards! TAKING WAY TOO MUCH OF THE WEALTH FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND DISCOURAGING INVESTMENT HAS ONLY UNDERMINED GOVERNMENT’S OWN ABILITY TO GATHER REVENUE…that is why we are getting poorer and poorer!
      Government needs to PULL THIER HEAD OUT!
      We have gone so far in the wrong direction it will take real commitment to make the corrections, (liquidate debt, streamline Customs, lower taxes, rebuild infrastructure, etc…) True committed leadership will be a prerequisite for the new path.

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