The week that was
December 15, 2015

The people have spoken. Ralph Gonsalves has been sworn in for his fourth consecutive term as Prime Minister. He won over 80 per cent of the vote in his constituency. His party, the ULP, increased their national vote count by almost two per cent over their 2010 election results. His two heirs-apparent, Saboto Caesar and Camillo Gonsalves, won their seats by over 500 votes apiece.{{more}}

Although the ULP won the same eight seats it won in 2010, it won each of those eight by a wider margin than before. Comrade Ralph is now on track to be the longest-serving Prime Minister in Vincentian history. After 40 something years in politics and over 15 as Prime Minister, he maintains rock-star levels of popularity among key voting blocs.

Let all of that sink in for a minute. Then tip your hat to this generation’s greatest political strategist. Say what you want, the Comrade is a proven political winner.


St Clair Leacock’s party may have lost the General Elections, but he is now sitting pretty. Leacock was the only NDP contestant to enhance his margin of victory, in an absolute slaughter of lackluster ULP candidate Beresford Phillips. He has also been uncharacteristically silent during the recent Eustace-led attempts to cry foul over the election results. Why? Because Leacock knows that once the usual post-election posturing dies down, calls for Eustace’s resignation will grow louder. As the holder of the safest NDP seat on the mainland, Leacock is now best positioned to offer himself as the new face of the party. He’s energetic, passionate, has a following among young people, and has broken with party orthodoxy at times. The NDP could do worse than lining up behind “The Major.”



Arnhim Eustace is in the midst of irreparably tarnishing his legacy as a senior parliamentarian and long-serving Leader of the Opposition. First, he presided over a thuggish and graffiti-ridden “Occupy Sion Hill” effort during the campaign, which has left his constituency vandalized and his constituents outraged. Then, he seemingly adopted a public strategy of pre-election voter intimidation, via countless hysterical radio accusations against transferees and new registrants. Then, there were his irresponsible, haven’t-we-heard-this-before, cries of electoral fraud. Let’s not forget his angry confrontation with Sir Louis Straker in Layou and his encouragement of demonstrations against the outcome of the elections – which have been given a clean bill of health by CARICOM, the Commonwealth and OAS observers.

Despite narrowly winning his own East Kingstown seat for the fifth straight contest, Eustace will always be remembered as the “four in a row” loser who couldn’t get his party over the hump, even when the odds were in his favour. Luke Browne is now breathing down his neck, and Eustace, who is over 70, clearly doesn’t have the energy to shepherd his party through another five years in the wilderness or withstand Browne’s relentless challenge. If he has any ambition for his party in 2020, Eustace should resign and retire immediately, so that the process of refreshing and rebuilding can begin. Someone needs to sit Eustace down and tell him that it’s over: His 2015 election dreams, and his post-2015 leadership ambitions. Like Sir Louis said, it’s time for Eustace to take his loss like a big man.


Linton Lewis greeted Camillo Gonsalves’ parliamentary debut by calling him a sacrificial lamb and closed out his campaign by branding him the weakest candidate he’d ever faced. But when the votes were counted, Lewis was on the receiving end of an historic drubbing. Lewis lost by more than 600 votes and Gonsalves tallied over 3,100 supporters – a record for the constituency. Of all the defeated NDP candidates, Lewis lost the most ground to his opponent, and his loss came as the biggest surprise to the party faithful, who were anticipating a Lewis victory as crucial to their electoral fortunes. Worse, the defeat has likely killed Lewis’ dream of rising to the Prime Ministership of SVG. If he couldn’t win a seat in four tries, it’s unlikely he can win over the nation.


If I had a question in SVG Parliament

…I’d ask Cummings, Leacock and Friday why they have not yet put Eustace out of his misery by publicly calling for his resignation. His latest antics only make it harder for the NDP’s eventual new leader to be taken seriously by the electorate.

Media Watch

Eustace has made a number of allegations of electoral fraud in Central Leeward and beyond. Has anyone asked Eustace to substantiate these claims? Have they sought reaction or clarification from the Supervisor of Elections or electoral observers?

Reporting Eustace’s claims, without context or critical analysis, is about as journalistically irresponsible as it gets.