February 11, 2014
NDP threatens protest if duty free concessions are withheld

Senior officials of the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) meet this morning to discuss possible forms of protest action if government withholds duty free concessions on barrels of relief supplies the party expects to arrive here this week.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, speaking at his Unity Labour Party’s annual convention last Sunday, restated his position that overseas donations for the Christmas Eve flood relief effort should be cleared through NEMO – the state agency set up to deal with disaster recovery, and which he said has the right to request duty waivers.

However, NDP Leader Arnhim Eustace had announced during the recent budget debate, and has since repeated, that donations brought in by the NDP would be passed through NEMO “over my dead body”.

In anticipation of a stand-off at customs when the approximately 20 barrels arrive, Eustace last week announced his intention to stage some form of protest, but yesterday he said many supporters had called to suggest various forms of action which he will put to today’s meeting of senior party officials.

The meeting takes place at the party’s headquarters from 9 a.m.