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Kingsley feels abused by members of NDP

Kingsley feels abused by members of NDP

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Taxi driver and talk show host Kingsley DeFreitas feels he was abused by some members of the New Democratic Party (NDP) present at a town hall meeting during the week.{{more}}

“You are out of you place!” Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace told DeFreitas on Tuesday, March 22, when DeFreitas made an interjection while Eustace was responding to one of DeFreitas’ several questions.

Eustace took offence to the interjection.

Before the heated debate erupted at the meeting, which was attended by enthusiastic NDP supporters, DeFreitas had posed three questions to Eustace.

The questions directed at Eustace were: ‘What would Eustace suggest as the most appropriate action that the Government should take to raise revenue for the state?’ ‘What evidence does Eustace have that the Government intends to use more National Insurance Service funds?’, and thirdly, ‘What is the status with the Teachers’ Union of the three teachers who represented the NDP in the General Elections and failed to win a seat?’ Eustace had already provided answers to the questions on the revenue and the NIS funds and was in the process of giving his answer on the teachers’ issue when DeFreitas interjected.

“Those teachers you are referring to applied, they applied in accordance with the Union agreement signed between the Government and the teachers. And the Government then raised an issue in relation to the Constitution and civil servants and say you have to resign,” said Eustace.

DeFreitas quipped, “Oh you are aware of that?”

This drew a stern response from Eustace: “Where you think I live? Live right here. You are out of your of your place. You are out of your place.”

Supporters of the NDP started taunting DeFreitas as he became involved in exchanges with other persons present. He eventuality left Democrat House.

Last Wednesday, DeFreitas, commenting on Eustace’s response to his question, told SEARCHLIGHT: “I personally feel that I lost trust in Mr. Eustace with the attitude he demonstrated yesterday, in his leadership style and the leadership of the NDP. He sees me as a threat; I believe the threat begins with the NDP.

“I felt real abused by them,” said DeFreitas.

DeFreitas said he is disappointed that Senator Anesia Baptiste, whom he has a lot of respect for, “naming her a champion of freedom of choice, freedom of speech; sat there and didn’t say anything in terms of rebuking the NDP and their supporters for attacking me.”

DeFreitas said he thought he would have received support from his friend St.Claire Leacock, Member of Parliament for Central Kingstown, but Leacock left the hall when the drama unfolded.

He said Dr.Godwin Friday, Member of Parliament for Northern Grenadines, was the only person who asked that he be left alone to ask his questions.

DeFreitas is charging that Senator Vynnette Frederick and NDP activist and talk show host Clemroy ‘Bert’ Francois attempted to take the microphone from him and when they did not succeed, they forcibly removed him from Democrat House through one of the side doors.

This claim was denied by Frederick when contacted late Wednesday night.

“He was definitely not pushed out. He said he chose to leave. He was not put out or removed at all.

“As a matter of fact, the suggestion is just total rubbish. He wanted to make a scene, totally wanted to make a scene,” said Frederick.

“I was trying to placate him. …None of my words were intended to be incendiary at all nor were they, “ said Frederick, while claiming that DeFreitas is in error.

DeFreitas said he supported the NDP and Eustace because he thought Eustace would have brought a high level of discipline to the people of St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

“The way he responded to me has not demonstrated that this is his intention at all,” said DeFreitas.

“My position with the NDP would change, because I supported the NDP, just because of Mr. Eustace,” said DeFreitas.

He used the opportunity to draw a comparison between Eustace and Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves.

DeFreitas said he has got into confrontations with Gonsalves in the past, but never got the “negative” reaction that he received from Eustace from the Prime Minister.

“The Prime Minister didn’t attack me that way. He said, ‘You need to listen to my answers and then rebut.’ I have a way that I like to interject, but I never got the kind of response, negative, from the Prime Minister who I am critical of,” said DeFreitas.