Eustace: Cummings may have brain injury
March 18, 2011

Eustace: Cummings may have brain injury

Daniel Cummings, Member of Parliament for West Kingstown, may have suffered injury to his brain when he and other members of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) were forcibly removed from the House of Assembly on Thursday, March 3.{{more}}

This was disclosed by Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace, on Tuesday, March 15.

Eustace was at the time on the picket line with NDP supporters of West Kingstown who were protesting the manner in which Cummings was treated when he was thrown out of the House.

“There is some discussion of some brain problem that is being dealt with by the doctors,” said Eustace.

Eustace said Cummings also suffered injuries to his back, shoulder and leg.

He disclosed that Cummings, who is undergoing medical treatment in Trinidad and Tobago, was released from the hospital on Monday, March 14, but his doctors are of the view that he must undergo physiotherapy for about two months.

Eustace said a final determination will then be made as to whether Cummings would have to undergo surgery on his spine.

The Opposition Leader said other members of the Opposition’s team also received injuries when they were thrown out of the House, but those are minor in comparison with what Cummings sustained.

Responding to critics of the NDP who said that the party was only able to attract approximately 300 to 400 demonstrators outside the House of Assembly on Thursday, March 3, Eustace said while efforts are made to trivialize the turnout, everyone knows that more persons came out than what is being stated.

Eustace said he does not bother himself with remarks made by the Prime Minister; “We just have to do what we have to do.”

Giving his assessment of the protest actions being taken by the Opposition, Eustace said he is sure of one thing, that many persons are now aware of “what the Government is trying to do.”

As for future protest actions to be taken by his Party, Eustace said he would not give any details.

“We want people to come out, we want them to come out in a peaceful manner in protest against what we see as bills which infringe on the rights of our brothers and sisters in St.Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Eustace.

Despite charges by some that Eustace was the instigator of the disruption in Parliament on March 3, Eustace told SEARCHLIGHT if he has to do it again, he will.

Eustace said he is concerned that persons who stood downstairs the Parliament or those within the Parliament chamber itself were not able to see the “brutality” meted out to members of the Opposition when they were being removed by the police.

“When Mr.Cummings was thrown down on the second landing, he went head first,” said Eustace, noting that the Speaker needs to be more balanced in his actions.

He said Alexander could have handled the matter differently, by suspending Parliament for the rest of the day.

“It’s time for him to go,” said Eustace, as he joined others, including former Speakers Monty Maule and Dennie Wilson, in calling on Alexander to resign.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Representative for the Northern Grenadines Dr.Godwin Friday, one of the persons who claims to have been injured during the fracas at the House of Assembly, said the NDP is seeking legal advice and is speaking to people around the country on the matter and will do what is most appropriate in due time.

“What is certain is that the protest will continue. Our opposition to these bills will continue because we don’t see that we have another choice. If we do otherwise we won’t be doing our jobs as representatives. That’s how strongly I feel about this,” said Friday.

He said the Government will pay a very high political price if it continues to pursue the amendment to the Criminal Code of St.Vincent and the Grenadines and the proposed amendment to the Representation of the People Act.

“If they feel that they have majority in the House and they can push it through, they certainly can do that because they have the majority in the House. But we expect that in a democracy, the Government will listen to people and understand what is happening here is not just the normal passage of the Bill through the House,” said Friday.

He said the NDP does not manufacture an issue just for the sake of demonstrating or to score political points.

“So you have to ask yourself, why is it done now that the New Democratic Party is so insistent that these bills must be stopped,” said Friday. He said the NDP is protesting on principle.(HN)