‘What I have been feeling in recent weeks is a warming of people to me’
June 14, 2011

‘What I have been feeling in recent weeks is a warming of people to me’

In the much anticipated response by the Leader of the Opposition to Sir James Mitchell’s controversial statements on his leadership, Arnhim Eustace{{more}} told the nation on Sunday evening that he regards the present set of circumstances as a distraction.

Eustace, in an interview with Jerry George, aired on Nice Radio on Sunday, June 12, said what is being talked about now is diverting attention from the issues that are confronting the economy.

“It is aimed at taking our attention from the issues that we have been dealing with,” said Eustace.

However, Eustace, who is also President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) said on the contrary, there has been a positive effect coming from Sir James’ interview and certain statements the prime minister has made.

“What I have been feeling in recent weeks is a warming of people to me,” Eustace said.

“I think this whole exercise here, quite to the contrary, has put our party and myself in a better light.That is the feedback I am getting, and I am feeling it in actual terms when I go on the street.”

On the issue as to whether the relationship between he and Sir James has been fractured, Eustace responded: “The relationship between Sir James and the Party has varied from time to time. Sometimes he is very active; other times he is not so active in the Party. Right now he is not very active in the Party itself.”

Eustace added that in George’s previous interview with Sir James, certain comments were made which are not true, but he does not think that the interview will affect the NDP in any major way.

Asked if he is aware of any moves to replace him as the leader of the NDP, Eustace said he has heard a lot of talk about that. He said while some people have been vocal about such an idea, they are not a part of the NDP’s executive.

He said he believes that a few people in the Party are dissatisfied about certain things, but this is not the case on a general level.

Eustace also said that he doesn’t subscribe to the view that there is a major problem over his leadership.

During the interview, he discussed the Representation of the People Act, his role in rebuilding the NDP after the Party’s defeat in 2000 and changing the rules for selecting the leader of the NDP to make it a more democratic process, and being re-elected Party leader unopposed. He also addressed issues such as accusations that he does not listen to supporters of the NDP; him being a senior citizen, and why he was unable to accept the invitation to meet with representatives of Amajaro, one of the world’s leading suppliers of cocoa to the international chocolate manufacturing industry, which is interested in setting up in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.