PM: Opposition leader  victory claim’s pathetic
June 21, 2011
PM: Opposition leader victory claim’s pathetic

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says that the Leader of the Opposition has no claim to victory.{{more}}

Dr. Gonsalves, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, June 14, said that an invitation to the New Democratic Party (NDP) to be a part of a Select Committee to review other aspects of the Representation of the People Act cannot be considered a victory for the NDP.

“This matter that they have won a victory; I don’t know where they victory is.”

“They are searching, having been laughed at by their own supporters, he wants a reason now to call off the protest to try to get himself off the hook.”

“It is pathetic for a man to claim a victory when he has been defeated. if you claim a victory from a position of weakness, you no longer have to call out people every morning in declining numbers to come on the street.”

The Prime Minister likened Eustace’s claim of a victory to that of a ‘snake oil salesman trick’, saying that the Opposition leader is desperately attempting to justify political tactics that do not make any sense.

“You declare a victory where there is none so that you can proceed to thank everybody about the victory that doesn’t exist, but which would allow you not to continue to make a fool of yourself.”

Members of the NDP had refused to sit on a Select Committee that was established to review the Representation of the People Amendment Bill, which seeks to repeal sections 51(3) and 51 (4) of the Act, which deals with statements made by candidates about others, during or before elections, which affect the character of the complaining candidate.

The penalty if a candidate is found at fault would lead to him or her being debarred from parliament for 5 years.

The Prime Minister said that there are enough provisions that would deal with such an issue without a parliamentarian being debarred.

“We have made it very clear that we do not see any need to criminalize speech made on the political platform where such criminalization of speech leads to someone losing their seat.”(JJ)