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Opposition Leader: NDP will always stand on guard

Opposition Leader: NDP will always stand on guard

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HONOURABLE ARNHIM EUSTACE, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

Fellow Vincentians,

As a nation we have just come through one of the longest and most gruelling election campaigns in our post independence history. The general elections of December 7, 2005, will long be remembered in the annals of our local politics. It was possibly the most high-tech and media-savvy campaign in living memory. There were certainly some of the largest crowds ever to attend local political meetings. The entertainment packages, one local, the other imported, captivated the audiences, and there was a certain vibrancy about the level and enthusiasm of citizen participation. From the stand point of the New Democratic Party we offered the electorate perhaps the finest slate of candidates in one political party since universal adult suffrage.{{more}}

The NDP waged an issues-based campaign and steadfastly resisted the constant temptation and provocation to depart from this course. For the first time in our political history, a party seeking office presented a comprehensive strategy for the economic development of our country, separate and apart from the customary election manifesto. The NDP’s 2005 Economic Development Strategy, entitled “The Key To Economic Development: Unlocking Prosperity For All” is a seminal document and remains an authoritative publication for application in future economic development strategies for our country.

Election 2005 was in the local

context “the best of times and the worst of times.”

Long before, and throughout the campaign, the NDP emphasized the importance of free, fair and transparent procedures in the electoral process. We were not being peevish or petty. Our meticulous observation of the enumeration and registration of voters highlighted widespread irregularities which had the capacity to seriously contaminate the electoral roll. Despite numerous protestations to the Supervisor of Elections our worst fears were realized in the conduct of the general elections of December 7th. The free will of the people was seriously violated, and as a responsible political institution, with a commitment to the future course of political development in our country, the New Democratic Party must take action, within the confines of the law, to ensure redress and eliminate the possibility of any such recurrence in the future. It was a former NDP administration that brokered the accommodation that facilitated electoral reform in a Caribbean country that had become a pariah in the International Community because of its flawed electoral practices. The NDP’s commitment to free, fair and transparent elections in our own country cannot be any less. As the age-old adage states, “charity begins at home!”

All this notwithstanding, the NDP remains completely committed to building a better life for all the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In Government or Opposition the NDP will always stand on guard for the well-being of our people.

At this festive season, which means so much to us individually, our families and communities, I am pleased to extend profound best wishes to all our citizens at home and in the diaspora, for a Holy and contemplative Christmas, and a New Year blessed with hope and purpose.

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