December 21, 2010
PM says he’s up to the Opposition’s challenge

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that he does not intend to succumb to the proposed ‘pressure’ that the Opposition intends to put on his government.{{more}}

Gonsalves made this clear last Sunday afternoon, while responding to a warning made by Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace on Thursday, December 16, at a New Democratic Party (NDP) rally at Heritage Square.

“It will be twelve on that side and nine on this side and this nine here is going to give endless trouble in the Parliament of St.Vincent and the Grenadines,” Eustace promised.

“We will control the Parliament of St.Vincent and the Grenadines until such time as elections are held,” Eustace continued, adding that the opposition will be pressuring the government to call fresh elections in one year.

While making his address at the swearing in ceremony of the new Cabinet ministers on Sunday, December 19, at Layou, Prime Minister Gonsalves responded to Eustace’s statements forcefully, stating that he is up for the opposition’s challenge.

“Let me make it plain, I am completely immune to any pressure from the NDP,” he declared.

“I say this not boastfully, but factually that I am an ancient warrior who withstood successfully NDP pressure when I was in the opposition and I have done so successfully since I have been prime minister,” he continued.

“Neither the NDP nor their puppet masters scare me; I relish the forces of evil and backwardness,” Gonsalves said.

“They had a chance of possible victory in 2010 and they blew it; they know it, I know it and the country knows it.

“They were so cocksure of political success that they became triumphant, arrogant, overbearing and removed from political realities,” Gonsalves said.

“Their arrogance, coupled with their lack of political hearing, doomed them; their lack of vision, policies, programmes and quality leadership led them to more years in opposition to which they can view as a necessary purgatory on their way to possible redemption or as a locale for further descent into political damnation,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves said while the opposition leader was issuing threats to challenge the result of the 2010 General Elections, members of his party had already acknowledged and given reasons for the defeat.

“By the night of Thursday, December 16, Eustace was singing a different tune at the rally at Heritage Square.”

“He made absolutely no reference to election petitions and the like to challenge election. He touted the strength of his elected team and pledged to pressure Gonsalves and the ULP in Parliament and on the streets until the holding of fresh elections,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves said that the opposition was known for making “ridiculous statements” and went on to say that the opposition will pay a heavy price politically for their “lack of patriotism.”

He further contended that NDP leadership, which professes theoretically to embrace democracy in action and practice, was aiming to undermine the very tenets of the country’s democracy.

“They must stop it and not create undesirable political tension, social confusion and economic damage in our country,” he warned.

Prime Minister Gonsalves told the people that while the opposition has chosen a “path of heightened confrontation”, he and his government will be pushing forward with plans for reconciliation and unity. (DD)