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Montgomery Daniel Shevern John

Deputy Prime Minister Montgomery Daniel, left, and opposition senator, Shevern John. (File photos by S. Ollivierre/API)

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Deputy Prime Minister Montgomery Daniel, on Tuesday, pointed out “two grave mistakes” in Parliament by opposition senator, Shevern John, who, as a first time candidate, fell 68 votes short of unseating him in last November’s general elections.

“I know that Senator John — she’s not here today — has been accepted as a senator in this honourable house and that she has come from the village of Owia,” said Daniel, who was, last November, elected to a fifth term as MP for North Windward.

“And I want to commend her very much. I want to wish you all the best. I want to wish her all the best in the future, her future endeavours,” he said of the former educator. 

“But she’s new and inexperienced and of course she would gain levels of experience. But she have (sic) already made two grave mistakes. The first one is in her first delivery, when she said that she was the first Garifuna woman to come to this parliament. But of course, there are many Garifuna women who have come to this parliament, even during my time — elected and nominated,” Daniel said. 

“And secondly, is that under agenda item, ‘obituaries’ she commended and congratulated someone under ‘obituaries’. I think her leader should at least give her some levels of instructions to these matters,” said Daniel, who, one week earlier, amused social media when he said in Parliament, “What can I do? What can we do? What can us do under the circumstances?”

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Daniel said that, in 1998, when he lost the election in North Windward by 58 votes, the deputy political leader of his Unity Labour Party offered him a senatorial post.

“I said to the deputy political leader then ‘What is the salary of a senator?’ He said about $1,600. So I said, ‘Well, my salary is presently $5,000. Do I leave a salary of $5,000 and go and work for $1,600? To prove what?’

“I said, ‘I’m saying to you, that I will enter the Parliament of St. Vincent and the Grenadines when the people of North Windward so let me do.’ And in 2001, I entered into this parliament, and I’m still standing here today. I have seen many senators walk through the doors of this parliament. Sadly, many of them have disappeared.”

“Because why? They are here at the whims and fancies of their political leader. And you have to be careful. And so I’ve shared this comment before in this house and I hope that senator try and impress her leader as much as possible to be able to sustain that fresh breath of air.”

After contesting and losing the general elections, Daniel returned to his government job under the New Democratic Party administration against whom he had contested.

However, last year, John was forced to resign her teaching post, despite a 2005 agreement that Daniel’s ULP administration signed with the teachers union and on which the court had ruled in favour of the union.

After her senatorial appointment last year, John told iWitness News that she had decided to accept the appointment rather than try to get back her higher paying teaching job because “service to humanity is the best work of life, not salary”.

As a graduate teacher, John earned about EC$5,400 monthly before tax and social security deductions. However, as senator, she will earn about EC$3,500 monthly, before similar deductions.

On Tuesday, Daniel thanked constituents for re-electing him for a fifth consecutive term in office.

“To me North windward, as a constituency, is the best constituency in the whole wide world. The only constituency that I would yield to is the constituency of North Central Windward.

“Why? Because that constituency has given that constituency representative eight or so consecutive terms as a representative and five consecutive terms in government,” he said of the district that Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has been representing since 1994, seven years before he his ULP was elected to office.

Daniel said he is the only Labour candidate to have been re-elected to consecutively serve in North Windward.

“That is a constituency that has been dominated by the PPP (People’s Political Party), and the NDP [, its successor]. And so, I’ve won that seat five times in a row. And there’s no doubt that if I’m asked to run again, I will win it again,” said Daniel, who is in his 60s.

“You see, the NDP brought a candidate in the last general elections and they referred to the candidate as a breath of fresh air. But before the elections, the candidate was already getting stale,” he said.

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10 replies on “Deputy PM points out new senator’s ‘grave mistakes’”

  1. Avatar Of Nathan 'Jolly' GreenNathan 'Jolly' Green says:

    There is no such legal office called Deputy Prime Minister, it is a pretend position invented by Ralph Gonsalves. Absolutely no provision in the Constitution for a Deputy Prime Minister.

  2. If she was singing from the same song sheet like you it would not have been any grave mistakes,
    you bad minded hypocrites leave the young woman alone, she did not have material things and poverty boxes and did very well.

  3. We still waiting on the stud centre you promised the people to build after the rock gutter accident. Still in waiting, no shame what so ever.

  4. Job back under NDP Daniel said

    Ms John did not have the privilege you got under The Leadership of James Michelle’s NDP Government to returned back to your Work and with same the Positions and Salary..

    Here you are bragging about it and waiting for your time.. As Deputy use your Influence to ReInstate back Ms John back to her job and salary scale.as you stated and free your self and your conscience it been to long.. NDP was good to you they did not rob you or degrade financially. What say you with all those suffering now over manys years .

    REMEMBER YOUR TIME WITH NDP it called Freedom of Expression and Association according to our Constitution.

    Today under your Government and a Senior member what is your stance on one being abuse ,cutoff, denied and rhetorically dishonest statements are being by your Government and Leaders? Reason for asking .I never hear you on this subject before nor did you credit NDP . But it never to late free up bymtelling the Nation that former government did not block me from running as Opposition Candidate. . Did Raphie knows about this before now? and also this statement from you can open a case from Ms John and Teachers Union. In case law is called President set. NDP Never put muzzle on any Vincentian who desires to Run as a candidate in our National Election so who give Ralphie such power too it not in our Constitutio.

    Raphie is not going to be happy with you for it put him in on defensive to answer why you so adamant to put the qualified teachers in the class rooms rather than on the street .

    In your subtle rambling remarks. indedirectly trying to degrade Ms Jonn who is humble to represents her people olong with you knowing your history and before liberation came to area by NDP Government.. You should be fighting on her behalf to get back her Job. Remember you is her Representive and of same bloodline.

    Family is more lasting than poltic do not behave like Ralphie to his own Dougie and Markus set an example and not cross that line again for she almost take that seat from you and be proud of her .

    I hope you will follow the trend and Reinstalled all those who been denied (Rehired) and hire just as Camillo and other was with without Raphie knowledge.as said.

    ” Remember went, Remember went” higer you climb more you expose your bam bam.

    My two cents

  5. Avatar Of Nathan Jolly GreenNathan Jolly Green says:

    I actually believe that when anyone gets so powerful that they threaten his own position as prime minister, he moves them sideways. Throws them something to take there minds off of his job, he makes them deputy prime minister. But that position is constitutionally flawed, because it simply is not provided for in the constitution.

    I think the opposition should write the Queen and tell Her what the Governor General did. She made a constitutional error and needs reprimanding. Situations like these happen when friends are given cronyalistic favour.

  6. I run under LP banner lost and get back my job under NDP. Tell Ralphie this hidden secret.

    The grave mistakes Sir, Daniel is not lobbying hard for Ms Shevern John back as Duty Leader u under this Government and the formers teachers who did ran for political candidates under the NDP umbrella. It is said to you said that Run as a Candidate under the Labour Party umbrella and lost and you wad Reinstated with full benefits and your position was not alter. Democracy at work Sir.
    How can you live with yourself to your own suffer and others suffering to exercise their Constitutional to associated with any Organization, freedom of speech, liberty and happiness. Why take that away?

    NDP set the trend that Citizen have right to choose and not be Victimized to exercise that right .

    Daniel stand up as a man talk Ralph to do right thing or resign and leave Ms John alone the Election is over you is her Representative and also your blood line Garifuna do not let this depart from you.

    My to cents.

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