September 30, 2005

Dr Gonsalves: Mitchell’s nightmare is Ottley Hall

Election campaigns are known for their caustic comments, slogans, name calling, crescendo, and innuendo are the order of the day. Evidence of that surfaced at last Sunday’s Unity Labour (ULP) rally at Redemption Sharpes.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, in full campaign mode, allowed former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell his ‘respect’ as “former Prime Minister ” but with that cordiality aside called the veteran politician an “old wind bag.” {{more}}

Mitchell founded the New Democratic Party (NDP) in December 1975 and became the nation’s second Prime Minister following the July 25, 1984, election until he handed over to Arnhim Eustace in October 2000. His reign has become associated with the Ottley Hall Shipyard and Marina Project.

Some $200 million were spent on that venture which has become the subject of a court matter.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves was cautious in his remarks last Sunday, but he criticised Sir James for his involvement in that venture.

Dr. Gonsalves said that “Mitchell (Sir James) (was) having nightmares. His nightmare is Ottley Hall.”

This was a clear reference to the Commission of Inquiry into the Ottley Hall Ship Yard and Marina, which has been delayed owing to challenges put up by lawyers representing some of Sir James’ former allies called to give evidence.

Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves has made it clear that he was not satisfied with the debt relief given on a part of the $156 million owed by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines government.

The Commission of Inquiry into the Ottley Hall Project is to determine how the $200 million was spent.

“They dragging it out at the Privy Council,” Dr. Gonsalves said.

In ongoing reference to former Prime Minister Sir James, Dr. Gonsalves stated: “Ottley Hall is what the old wind bag is worried about. Is not me he must worry about. Is Ottley Hall Inquiry.”