Eustace says Rabacca Bridge opening was in response to protest march
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April 5, 2007
Eustace says Rabacca Bridge opening was in response to protest march

Leader of the Opposition Arhnim Eustace has compared the construction of the Yurumein/ Taiwan Bridge at Rabacca with the Georgetown Secondary School built in 1999 under the former New Democratic Party (NDP) government.

Accusing the Dr Ralph Gonsalves-led government of indulging in excesses for the gala opening of the bridge, Eustace said that the $9 million-plus secondary school resonated with the people of North Windward in the same way that the bridge does now.{{more}}

“It was clear that (the opening of the bridge) was in response to our march, so they wanted to bring out a large crowd,” said Eustace.

The NDP held a protest march through the streets of Kingstown on Wednesday, February 28.

Eustace suggested that this was the reason why a half-holiday was granted and transportation organized – all unnecessary trapping for the $8.5 million bridge’s opening in his opinion.

Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves has however dismissed that, and insisted that it was a national event.

While stating that politics will always have a part to play in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Gonsalves said that the massive turn out on Wednesday, March 28, estimated to be over 40,000 persons, is a clear indication that the Yurumein/Taiwan Bridge was “national and unifying.”

He slammed the NDP for organizing a prayer vigil on the same day as the bridge opening, a lame effort in his opinion, to draw people away from the Rabacca Bridge opening, and an abuse of prayer, Dr Gonsalves suggested at a press conference earlier this week.

Eustace however told SEARCHLIGHT that the prayer vigil wasn’t organized for any such reason. He said that the vigil was intended for people who were at home to call in to the radio station (NICE Radio) and offer prayer for the nation.

“We did not have a gathering so it could not clash in any way with the bridge opening,” said Eustace who told SEACRCHLIGHT that he couldn’t remember if he had received an invitation to attend the opening of the Rabacca Bridge.

“When we opened that Georgetown Secondary School, Dr Gonsalves was on the platform with me, that was a national event,” he said. “That Rabacca Bridge opening was a party event,” he reemphasized.

When the ceremony for the official site opening for the Bequia Primary School took place recently, NDP parliamentarian and Northern Grenadines’ Representative

Dr Godwin Friday was on the platform with Dr Gonsalves and also addressed the gathering.