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May 2016 be a year of change in our hearts, peace and prosperity for Vincentians

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The end of the year usually is a time when individuals, organizations and nations reflect on the months past and plan for what the future may hold.

As we put to bed the final edition of SEARCHLIGHT for 2015, a new Parliament with some new faces is about to be sworn in and in a few weeks time, the Government will present to the nation the Estimates and Budgetary proposals for the 2016 year.{{more}}

We have heard about the appointment of new persons to head different government ministries and the promise by the Prime Minister to make sweeping changes on the boards of statutory corporations and government owned companies to incorporate many more younger persons.

These manifestations of renewal, however, unfortunately come amidst protests from the Opposition, who have refused to accept the results of the recent general elections. The present mood in the country is not dissimilar to what obtained following the December 2010 elections, but one senses that this time around the political divisions go deeper and wider.

Politics predominated the news scene in 2015, so much so that many prayed for the completion of the elections so that the country could return to some semblance of normalcy, a state in which every action or utterance by an individual is not perceived through red or yellow tinted glasses.

But wait! What really is normal in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG)? The divisions of which we speak have been a part of life here in SVG for so long, that a society where a person’s political affiliation is not the first consideration is a fast fading memory.

But to continue in that vein would be to retard the progress of our country at a time when we can least afford. St Vincent and the Grenadines still has not yet fully recovered from the global financial crisis of 2008 or the series of natural disasters in 2010, 2011 and 2013 that wiped out a significant portion of our GDP. But there is hope. The completion of the international airport is only months away and with several exciting tourism and infrastructural development projects lined up for 2016, we need political stability and all hands on deck if we are to capitalize on them.

Our political leaders hold the key to any meaningful renewal that will take place in this country. The supporters in the two main political camps draw energy from their leaders and the vast majority will act based on the positions the leaders hold and how they act.

As the year comes to an end, we therefore call on our political leaders to spend some time looking inward, reflecting on why they entered public life in the first place. Too many of our leaders put pride, ego and vindictiveness ahead of the good of the country. May 2016 be the year of genuine positive change in the attitude of our people towards one another and one of peace and prosperity for all Vincentians.

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