Dr Godwin Friday, President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and Leader of the Opposition said that he and his colleagues are disappointed in not forming government, but are encouraged by the numbers.
“We are now the majority party,” Friday said on the ‘New Times’ Radio Programme on Monday.
The NDP, for the fifth straight time, lost the general elections to the incumbent Unity Labour Party (ULP).
Changing the landscape
Although the ULP gained a seat for a 9 to 6 victory, the NDP is slightly ahead in terms of the popular vote. The final figures indicate that the ULP recorded 32,353 votes compared to the 32,847 for the NDP.
According to Friday, the NDP had been able to shift the political landscape to the 1980s and he referenced that it was the first time since 1994 that the NDP had garnered the majority of the votes.
“This is the silver lining in what has been a disappointing general elections for our supporters and for the majority of Vincentians because the majority voted for us,” he said.
“We have to take the fight and continue to battle to bring that vision to reality, because the people voted for change and we have to keep fighting for that change,” Friday continued.
He thanked all who worked during the campaign saying that the team worked hard to bring the message “of the people to the people.
“We are disappointed with the result but we are not despondent. We hear the voices of the people,” the NDP’s leader said.
“It’s not about me but what the people want. We have articulated a vision for the country and the people said they want this for St Vincent and the Grenadines.”
The past few days have been difficult, but Friday pledged his continued commitment to the people and to brining a change.
“I just want everybody to know that I am not going anywhere, I am standing here – the people have put confidence in me and I take tremendous courage and support from that,” he said.
“And we will stand for the people of this country to bring change and vision that they want.”
According to Friday, the team of the NDP spent 17 hours in the recount process for the constituency of North Leeward.
Initial results had indicated that the ULP’s Carlos James had won by a margin of 7 votes against the incumbent Roland ‘Patel’ Matthews of the NDP.
The recount, however, brought that figure down to 1 and according to Friday, there were at least three ballots that the NDP thought ought to have been counted in their favour – which he said would have changed the outcome.
He said that he met with the team last weekend to discuss what their options were with respect to the three ballots which had had inscriptions on them.
They were rejected after it had been ruled that the identity of the voter could have been revealed.
“We felt that those should have gone our way, but that is the ruling,” Friday said.