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Opposition leader says PM Gonsalves is afraid

Opposition leader says PM Gonsalves is afraid

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Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace is of the opinion that the reason why the Government has pushed for amendments to the two controversial Bills is because Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is afraid of the probable result, should a by-election or fresh general elections be called.{{more}}

Eustace made the point while speaking at a public meeting on Tuesday, March 1, at Heritage Square.

According to Eustace, the private criminal complaints filed against members of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) carry a fine of imprisonment and prevent the individual from voting for five years and from being a candidate in a general election.

“That is what they are frightened about – they are afraid in an 8-7 situation, it may result in by-election or general elections,” Eustace contended.

“It ain’t like when it was 12-3, it is now 8-7, and if they were to lose one of those cases, then it’s back to the polls.

“So what they do, they are changing the law to protect themselves,” he continued.

Eustace further contended that the Prime Minister lied in Parliament when he said that he was amending the Criminal Procedure Code because people were abusing the system and that there were too many instances of private criminal complaints being filed.

“The Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines was lying to the people of this country because evidence has shown that there are very few cases of that type being brought forward,” the Opposition Leader said.

He said that that was the justification that was given in the House, but said that he hoped that the people of this country learned the lessons from what was taking place around the region.

“Because not many people in our country read the details of the conditions in which the people of North Africa lived under,” he said, adding that the very people did not realize to what extent to which their freedoms were being eroded and that the world was now seeing them taking to the streets for the rights that Vincentians were taking for granted.

“They are dying every day for their rights and they got to that position because the system they had took away people’s rights and nobody bothered,” Eustace explained.

Eventually, the situation came to the point where there was no freedom he said.

He was adamant that it was important to protest against the Bills to prevent the making of a dictatorship here.

“We don’t want to reach to that stage, we want to stop him now,” Eustace said. (DD)