December 21, 2010
NDP elected members speak

When the New Democratic Party met at the Heritage Square on Thursday, December 16, for their celebrations rally, three days after the General Elections, one thing was certain: the campaigning was not over.{{more}}

As the successful candidates took to the stage at Heritage Square, they not only thanked their supporters for ushering them into this country’s parliament, but they also supported their political leader and promised to put pressure on the Ralph Gonsalves-led government, which they say will eventually lead to its collapse.

Here is what five of the parliamentarians had to say during their victory speeches.

St. Claire Leacock- Central Kingstown:

“This was not an easy elections… but from here on it is serious business… we will give him (Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves) no space. He has not won this election on no narrow edge, he is on a jagged edge and our job as an opposition is to get him out of government.

So from the time the first Parliament is held, we are off the mark and we are numbering his days.

Make no bones about it… there must be no end of cases in the government for misbehaviour in public office and we will pursue them, using all of the instruments at our disposal: that of the Director of Audit, that of questions in the Parliament, that of the street, that of meetings, that of research and that of the will of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and that of the good people of the New Democratic Party.

Tonight I join with my colleagues to ask you all to rally behind us, stand firm for your democracy that will be hard won. And by the will of the good Lord Almighty it will not be too long from now that victory will be assured and decency will be restored to governance in the blessed land of ours: St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Nigel ‘Nature’ Stephenson – South Leeward:

“When we go to the House, I want to send a clear signal to Ralph Gonsalves: it is not going to be business as usual.

We are fired up and we are ready to go; we are going to be firing on all cylinders.

Mr. Ralph Gonsalves, it’s not going to be an easy task for you. We are going to apply the pressure; we are going to represent the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines the best way we know how to.

So I am guaranteeing you, my dear people, that the New Democratic Party is alive. I want you to keep hope alive. You have much to be proud of.

We will ensure that the pressure goes on from day one with a view to bringing down that government in less than five years.

“Do you remember what happened in 1998? We had a very similar result; that time in the favour of the New Democratic Party it was 8-7 in our favour.

You know what those sons of a gun said? They said that they would make the country ungovernable, simply because the people said we want the New Democratic Party to be returned to office.

But they always say ‘do so nah like so’. We are not saying that we are going to bring people out to block the roads immediately, but we are going to apply the pressure and the chips wherever it falls let it lie there.

So I am saying to you my good people, look out for good things from the New Democratic Party. We will represent your interest in the Parliament of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Terrence Ollivierre- Southern Grenadines:

“I must thank the people of Canouan, Mayreau and Union Island…. What I want to tell you tonight, it is serious business; the journey now start and the battle or the war just begin… The five of us in there (Parliament) took the fight to the ULP; that is why we were able to gain four more seats, because of the good job which we did in Parliament. Now we have four more soldiers in the army.

So don’t be afraid and don’t worry, because we will be calling on you the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to back us up in parliament. So when we say come, we want to see you; we want you to come out wherever you are and join the New Democratic Party and let’s take the fight to the ULP, because we want to continue. It is too much pressure inside the country and we have to get rid of the ULP.

The seven of us inside and all of you on the outside… St. Vincent and the Grenadines I want to tell you that we gonna to take the fight so that joy will come in the morning.”

Dr. Godwin Friday- Northern Grenadines:

“I want to report… that the Rock of Gibraltar is stronger than ever….

I want to put them on notice that it will not be business as usual… they will have to answer to us.

They stole this elections… it does not reflect the true will of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They stole it with lumber and galvanize and cement, but it will not stand because the people will rise up against them in time. When the lumber gone and the galvanize have hole in it and the cement is done, they will say we want the hope that was presented by the New Democratic Party, and Ralph Gonsalves will regret he won this election here in 2010.

We will stand up and fight for you, even the Civil Servants who were promised their two percent pay, when you don’t get it, we will stand with you. The police, when you don’t get your money we will stand up with you and the teachers, when he can’t pay you your money we will come out and stand up with you, because they making false promises and we cannot let them get away with this.

We had a dream for this country. It is a dream delayed, it is not a dream denied, because we will continue to fight for the people of this country. We will continue to make more of St. Vincent and the Grenadines yellow, because we bring hope to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

In the parliament we will give no quarter, we will make sure that whatever they say they stand up (to) and no technicalities that the Speaker bring will keep us from representing you in the House of Parliament.

We give you our promise.

I know that the people in St. Vincent as a whole are disgusted, but some people, they respond to short-term gains and they were exploited because they were cynical people on the other side and they felt that if you give them short-term reward that they will reward you in return… but we will stand up and fight.”

Daniel Cummings- West Kingstown:

“In 2005, the will of the people of West Kingstown was subverted by cheating. But in this year 2010, not even all the corrupt practices could overturn the massive will of the people of West Kingstown.

As I said in this election campaign, and I want those who are in power to listen to this, because I stand by it. I believe that the Unity Labour Party Government committed one of the biggest criminal events in this country. I believe that they are guilty of misbehaviour in public office.

When you abuse the Treasury of this land for partisan political campaigning, that is misbehaviour in public office.

I speak specifically of over five million dollars that you and I have to pay back, for which purpose they used to give galvanize and cement and lumber – not to victims of Hurricane Tomas, but to supporters of the Unity Labour Party; that is a criminal act.

I want to remind you that this government bought and got four times the galvanize needed to repair every single roof that was damaged during Hurricane Tomas, but in West Kingstown alone there are 13 homes up to today whose roofs have been blown off; not a darn single sheet of galvanize for one of them because they support the NDP… and that is why I say justice will be done in this land and Ralph Gonsalves must know he cannot sleep until every single one of those roofs is replaced and every house that was damaged will be rebuilt, because if he doesn’t he will pay for it, he will pay in every sense of the word.

That kind of thing must not happen in a society that is a democracy.

The people will make you pay and it won’t be long.

My people, I pledge to you to continue the work to reach out with every ounce of strength we have to each and every one of you, whether or not you supported the New Democratic Party.”

Roland “Patel” Matthews – North Leeward

(this interview was done on Monday, December 20)

“Thanks to the People of the North Leeward constituency for making me your representative. … Even though the party is in opposition I’ll do my very best to bring the issues that are affecting the people to the fore and to get the attention they deserve.

In 2001, when I first entered politics, the Prime Minister referred to me then as a yam digger, and I say to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, when we get to the Parliament I will hope that the Speaker would say that the yam digger has arrived.

When you are in opposition it’s a very difficult thing to get things done and I know it is going to be a very difficult task, but even though the task will be difficult, my intention will be solely to make representation on behalf of the people.”