Our Readers' Opinions
August 5, 2014
Unfortunate statement by senior NDP member

Tue Aug 5, 2014

Editor: I was surprised to read a CANA report that Opposition lawmaker in St Vincent and the Grenadines St Clair Leacock said that his party, the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), will not support the Ralph Gonsalves administration in any move it makes. This, to my mind, is a very unfortunate statement coming from a very senior member of the Opposition party who was/is a contender for leadership of the movement.{{more}}

Although some might contend that the NDP opposes the governing ULP in nearly all the issues, and the statement does not matter much. However, I beg to differ because the ULP has a razor edge majority and the Opposition can play an important role for the country’s development. After all they were elected by the electorate to represent them and they should do so to the best of their ability. I observe that the Opposition spent a considerable amount of time in dealing with irrelevant or minor issues, rather than focus on burning issues.

There are far too many instances of walking out of Parliament and protests. A few, to my mind, are uncalled for – like the protest following the delay to provide a special chair for a lawmaker who had a back problem. It reminded me of my native Guyana when the late Cheddi Jagan was known for his boycotts, which allowed Forbes Burnham to proceed with measures in the absence of the PPP representatives. I do not believe in boycotts and unnecessary protests, since Guyana’s PPP paid a high price for them.

The NDP should focus on the wrongdoings of the ULP administration and try to bring them to the attention of the electorate long before the election bell is rung. They should try to identify their supporters and ensure that they are all registered as voters. They should also identify their candidates very early and let them concentrate on their respective constituencies. If the NDP wants to remove the ULP from government, they have a lot of work to do, because Ralph Gonsalves is a shrewd, experienced and persuasive politician and it would be difficult to defeat him at the next general elections, constitutionally due in December next year, especially if the airport becomes a reality before voting date.

Oscar Ramjeet