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Let’s respect the people’s choice



The victory by the Unity Labour Party in Monday’s general elections was secured by the slimmest of margins, after a tough and bitterly fought campaign.{{more}}

Congratulations are in order for Prime Minister Gonsalves and his team for gaining a third term in office. When one considers everything the ULP was up against: the economic downturn, the crushing referendum defeat of just one year ago and the formidable fight put up by the NDP, the ULP victory is even more significant.

The New Democratic Party, though obviously extremely disappointed at not forming government, is to be congratulated for coming so close and increasing the number of elected representatives they have in the house.

Now comes the really hard part. Governing for the next five years in a depressed economic climate and a precariously balanced adversarial political environment will be difficult, and will call for all the skill and hard work the Prime Minister and his team can muster. The Prime Minister knows this, and no doubt will be carefully considering how best to augment his Cabinet when he makes his choice of Senators for this term.

This should also be a time for stock taking and fence mending. In his victory speech on Monday night, the prime minister said he will be listening even more and spending more time with the people, as he did during his first term. He also extended an olive branch to the opposition, realizing that much more will be achieved if consensus is built. He also called on all Vincentians to “own the government”. This is a sensible approach to take, and we look forward to him keeping his word.

The campaign is over and there is much work for all Vincentians to do to take our tiny nation state forward. We seem to have been in a state of heightened political activity for the last decade or so. Is it is too much to hope that we will settle down now? Let’s try. The people have made their choice, we should respect that.