Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has sent a strong message to the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) of his intention to crush any protest action they might be planning as part of activities to pressure his government.
“And I tell you this here today. I hear some of them talking – what they will do and what they wouldn’t do. I just want to tell them, the man who is talking here, I am the master of the streets. And they must try and test me.
“I am the master of the street,” Prime Minister Gonsalves said on a recent Face to Face programme on the state-owned NBC Radio.
Dr Gonsalves’ comment followed comments by the NDP that they are the majority party and so the party of the people’s choice, having won the popular vote in the November 5th, 2020, general elections.
According to results, the NDP received 32,847 votes and the ULP received 32,353 votes – the NDP receiving 494 votes more than the ULP.
New Democratic Party leader Dr Godwin Friday stated recently that by the votes the people said clearly that they preferred the ideas, the plans and the vision for the country laid out by the party.
“And our people embraced that message and voted for change, for a better future for themselves and their families,” he said.
Dr Friday further stated: “Sadly, that change has been deferred and the ULP has retained government by being declared winner of more seats than the NDP, for under our Constitution the party with the most seats forms the Government.
“However, it is a fundamental and treasured principle of democracy that a Government that does not have the support of a majority of the people lacks a mandate from the people to govern them. It lacks democratic legitimacy.”
In 1998, the NDP had won elections by a narrow 8-7 victory but the ULP won the popular vote by thousands. The ULP said then that they were the party of the majority.
They subsequently were involved in mass protests which saw industrial actions called by the trade unions and withdrawal of service by members of the minibus association.
Following the 2020 elections, the NDP said they hope the people will be ready when they call them to come out.
NDP chairman and West Kingstown MP Daniel Cummings said that with his party becoming the popular party, the government will have to talk to him and his supporters on the matter of the new Kingstown Port to be built at Bottom Town in his constituency.
“Ah hope the Christian Council talk to them with some of the irresponsible things that they’re saying and doing. Some in the Christian Council only ha mouth fo Ralph, you know. Ah say ‘some,’” Dr Gonsalves said.
Dr Gonsalves said he had been observing and listening and he was aware that he would be criticized for his comments but is not afraid of criticism.
“I speak my mind, and one thing I can tell you; I am sworn to uphold and defend the constitution and laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
I will do it legally and I will do it politically.
“I ain’t threatening nobody, because as I say it is not a threat. I am just upholding my oath. And I am doing what I consider to be part of my life work, to defend the sovereignty and independence of this country to prevent it from being recolonized.
And I am not going to allow whether it’s a right-wing opportunist, an infantile leftist or any backward elements of the petit bourgeoisie – none of them – to shake the independence and the sovereignty and the national interest of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Dr Gonsalves said.