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PM promises manifesto by early December

PM promises manifesto by early December

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by Kenton X. Chance 23.NOV.10

Vincentians will have at least 10 days to scrutinise the election manifesto of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) before casting their ballots on December 13, party leader and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said on Friday, November 19.{{more}}

Gonsalves also told reporters that during the election campaign, he will not mention Margaret London, the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) candidate to run against him in North Central Windward (NCW).

However, speaking at his Unity Labour Party (ULP) rally in Biabou, in the South Windward constituency on Saturday evening, Gonsalves said he was defending London against “unfair” treatment by her party.

“Driving a horse and chariot through the Constitution is far worse than anything that Margaret ever say,” Gonsalves said, as an audio recording was played of London commenting on radio that she doesn’t “wash every week”.

“I don’t mean to say anything against Margaret. All I was saying is that you say that you are not running Margaret because of what she said. How can you run Burton when he say something far worse than what Margaret say. How can you keep Mitchell on the platform when he said something far worse than what Margaret say,” Gonsalves said.

“I say they’re not fair with Margaret,” Gonsalves said.

The ULP this week raised questions about the eligibility of London, a nurse, to contest the elections.

The NDP, which told SEARCHLIGHT that it was reassessing London’s candidacy, is yet to issue a statement about the situation although a source close to the party said last week that one would come soon.

Gonsalves told reporters on Friday that the development surrounding London “and other things” were on his mind when he said at least one “calamity” would befall the NDP before Election Day.

“…the issue is not Margaret London. The issue has to do with the weak leadership of Arnhim Eustace and the disorganized state of the NDP and its inability, it lack of capacity, to present a slate of candidates to people,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves further said that the NDP announced its candidates “nearly two years ago” but “can’t get a slate after elections have been declared”.

The official nomination of candidates will take place on Friday, Nov. 26.

“That’s not the only one. There are other problems. Whether they are going to resolve them before Nomination Day or whether the people would resolve them for them after Nomination Day, that is a different issue. But what I am speaking about is their weak leadership, specifically of Arnhim Eustace and the disorganization of the NDP and their lack of seriousness.”

Gonsalves said that while the ULP is yet to release its manifesto, he has published papers on job creation and wealth creation, crime, and education in addition to his two books, which speak to the philosophy of the ULP and its approaches to the economy and other issues.

“… even before the manifesto appears, the people in this country have a clear idea what the ULP is about and the proposals. You have our vision, our philosophy, the socio-cultural framework from which we spring and to guide us and the policies and the programmes now and for the future,” he said.

He said he was still waiting to hear the NDP’s proposals, saying that its president, Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, was “saying to go on a journey with them where the captain is sailing under sealed orders”.

“If you are a leader of a party and you can’t say where you are going, you’re obviously sailing under sealed orders. … and he doesn’t even know how many crew members he will have with him, because one week before the ship sets sail, they still scrunting looking for people. … And everybody on that ship wants to be a captain. They operating under sealed orders; the crew is incomplete. You will go on a ship with people like that?”

The December 13 poll has shaped up to be a clear race between the NDP and the ULP, which is seeking a third consecutive term in office. Pundits have dismissed Ivan O’Neal’s Green Party as a non-starter.