Eustace: It was not a devastating loss
May 19, 2006
Eustace: It was not a devastating loss

While stating that his party accepted the “First past the post system,” New Democratic Party President, Arnhim Eustace made it clear that he does not consider their electoral loss last December as devastating by any stretch of the imagination.

“In short, less than 200 votes made the difference between the NDP having seven seats and three, and less than 600 overall made the difference between the NDP having eight seats and forming the government.”{{more}}

Eustace was addressing those gathered at the media luncheon last Thursday 11 at the “Lime ’N Pub” restaurant in Villa. The luncheon hosted by the New Democratic Party was part of a wider strategy by the party to improve its relationship with the media by becoming more accessible.

In his address Eustace said that it was important to note that the NDP won 44 percent of the vote and therefore represents a very significant proportion of the voting population. “Out of a total of 58,054 persons that voted in the last election a mere one percent determined who formed the government,” stated the confident leader of the Opposition.

In addressing claims of irregularities in the last election, Eustace again reiterated that he had no doubt in his mind that there were such irregularities. He told the wide cross section of local media representatives that based on legal advice the party decided not to pursue the options of constitutional motions and election petitions.

As regards the option of private lawsuits that was widely touted to be their next move, Eustace said that most of their witnesses were afraid of victimization if their names appeared in legal documents. “Many indicated that they were not prepared to go forward because family members worked with government and feared loss of jobs.”

Eustace said that some witnesses were given jobs to stay quiet, which “made it extremely difficult for the NDP to proceed as planned.”