December 17, 2010
PM addresses nation after election win

As thousands of Vincentians were out celebrating various victories in the General Elections for their political parties on the night of Monday December 13, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves addressed the nation live.{{more}}

Those who stayed glued to their television screens or radios or perhaps were listening online, heard the Prime Minister in his 18-minute address promise, among other things, to listen very attentively to the people.

Dr. Gonsalves arrived at the Electoral Office in Kingstown around 11:30pm, the place from where the results of the election were being announced, to speak to the electorate after his Unity Labour Party’s 8-7 victory over the NDP, in what was described by him as a grueling four-week campaign and highly competitive elections.

Accompanied by his wife Eloise, eldest son Camillo and his security detail, a tired looking but upbeat Gonsalves thanked his supporters for ‘owning the campaign’ which secured him his third term in office.

He called on all Vincentians, non supporters included, to now ‘own the government’, and made the pledge to have a more open ear to the people.

“I thank the persons who voted for the Unity Labour Party, those who were involved in the organization, planning of this campaign.”

“I promise to listen more keenly than ever before…. I do listen, and I listen very well. I will interpret what you say very keenly. “

“You will see me more on the streets far more than you have seen me over the last five years. I will be in communion with you.”

“I promise that I will provide five more years of leadership, God’s willing.”

The Prime Minister used the opportunity to call for healing among Vincentians and invited the opposition members to join him in taking the nation forward.

“This country has seen a lot of divisiveness and bitterness, perhaps even hatred through politics. I am hoping that now that we have this contest behind us we can have a time for healing and for cooperation. I know in our competitive politics it is often difficult to cooperate; but the honorable members on the opposition would know that there is more that unites us than divides us.”

“Let us see if we can work together to make things better for St. Vincent and the Grenadines; I am prepared to give it a chance.”

“I reach out as I did in 2001, as I did in 2005, but it takes two to tango… we have a government to run.”

Dr. Gonsalves indicated that his government intends to continue the work that had been started in the previous two terms, and warned that there would be difficult times ahead.

“Operation Reconstruction and Recovery for example, after (Hurricane) Tomas is ongoing. We have the international airport at Argyle to complete. We have

the Education Revolution to be lifted higher than before… other important pieces of infrastructure to construct… we have to make our country stronger, safer better….”

“We are still in the throes of a very, very difficult economic situation externally. The worst economic crisis brought on us from outside since the Great Depression in the early 1930’s. We have weathered the economic and financial storm pretty well, but I say to you next year is going to be a most challenging year; we are not yet out of the woods.”

The Prime Minister took the opportunity to also thank among other persons his wife, the Supervisor of Elections (Sylvia Findlay Scrubb), his party’s Campaign Manager (Julian Francis), and called for a day of prayer and thanksgiving on Sunday December 19.

“I believe we have just completed an elections (which was) highly competitive, but surely we have done so in a manner befitting a worthy civilization.”

“We have come through a difficult period and we have to express in a collective way our thanks to almighty God.”(JJ)