December 21, 2010
Eustace: ‘We are going to keep the fire at their feet’

Leader of the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace has promised that his party will be a thorn in the side of the Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves-led administration.{{more}}

Eustace, who delivered a fiery and passionate speech at his party’s victory rally last Thursday, December 16, at Heritage Square, said that he would not let up the pressure on the government, and called for the continued encouragement of his party’s supporters as they bring the fight to the government.

“They say ‘Keep the fire burning’, we will keep that fire burning for them in the Parliament of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. When we go back to Parliament we are going to give them fire. When I say fire we are going to keep the fire at their feet,” said Eustace.

“Tonight, I want to tell you that the NDP will be going into a different Parliament in January; for the last nine and a half years it was 16 sitting on that side and five of us on the other side…. But this time it will be 12 on that side and nine on this side… and with that nine we will control the Parliament of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, until such time as elections are held in this country,” Eustace added.

According to Eustace, the NDP’s Parliamentarians have a better understanding of Parliamentary procedures, in particular the budget.

Eustace indicated that it would be interesting to see what the new Parliamentarians on the ULP side would do once they get into the House.

“All those new ones that are going in there, I want to see how they going to debate the budget,” Eustace continued.

“One of the things in Parliament is that when you just get there sometimes you get nervous and the people will make notes and you see them reading; you not supposed to read… but this time we ain’t giving them no chance- you read and we calling the point of order right away and you must sit down,” said Eustace.

“We have been kind and gentle to them with those things, but we will not allow it in this new Parliament that we are going to face in January,” he warned.

“It is only by preparing ourselves properly to deal with the bills that we could stand up to deal with that psychological pressure and we did it for nine and a half years with three elected members and two senators; well tell me why we can’t do it with seven elected members and two senators? We will do it much better and we will bring that government down and have free and fresh elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Eustace contended.

The Opposition Leader also spoke on the country’s economic situation, and declared that the ULP government does not have the funding to fulfill its financial obligations.

He predicted that among other things, the government will soon be increasing Value Added Tax (VAT) and other taxes, and that they may soon be turning to the National Insurance Services for financial support.

Eustace said that he believes that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will soon visit this country, bringing pressure on the government to take certain measures which are going to make life harder.

Another prediction Eustace made was that with constant pressure from the opposition, the Gonsalves-led administration will fall in about a year’s time.

The issue of bribery in various constituencies by the ULP was another topic the East Kingstown Representative touched on during his address.

“You know, we have looked at the cheating that took place in this elections in many different ways; from the moving of people from one constituency to the next… the lumber and the galvanize… don’t talk of cutting down our posters under the control of the police,” said Eustace.

“Through bribes and trickery, they managed to hold on to certain seats that we thought we would win and form government, but this time they won’t have so much money to bribe; they will have to fight very hard to stay alive…. I know we will hold them and squeeze them and they will have to buckle, and when they buckle we will push them down and we will ensure that the New Democratic Party takes over the reins of power and office in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Eustace.