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Vincentians anxiously await election date


Editor: Vincentians, even those affiliated to the governing Unity Labour Party (ULP), are anxiously awaiting Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves to “ring the bell” and announce election day.

Although elections are constitutionally due by March 28 next year. I predict that it will be held early in December.{{more}}

Prime Ministers in the region like to hold elections at the same month, especially when they are successful. The ULP won the elections in December 2010 and December 2005. However, Ralph Gonsalves was named Prime Minister in March 2001 after his party’s victory in an election which was called two years before the constitutional date because of an agreement between the then Prime Minister James Mitchell and Leader of the then Opposition Ralph Gonsalves, following a wave of protests and demonstrations by disgruntled members of the electorate.

In Guyana, Forbes Burnham successfully held all his elections in December – maybe because he was superstitious.

The ULP had a scare at the last general elections, edging out the opposition by a single seat, eight to seven, and it seems to me that it was more a defeat for the NDP because of bad strategy, rather than a victory for the incumbent. I have no doubt that both parties will be extremely careful and have their acts together well in time before the V Day.

Trinidad and Tobago will go to the polls on September 7, when Kamla Persad Bissesar’s partnership government will face stiff opposition from Keith Rowley’s PNM. Four other countries held elections during the last seven months – two were removed from government after serving more than 20 years: they are Denzil Dougas of the St Kitts/Nevis Labour Party and Donald Ramotar/Bharat Jagdeo of the PPPC of Guyana. In Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit remained in power, while in the British Virgin Islands, Dr Orlando Smith NDP whipped the opposition Virgin Islands Party by a wider margin 11-2.

Oscar Ramjeet