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Opposition Leader calls for PM to resign

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Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace has suggested that Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves resign in the face of rape allegations which were made against him.

While he stopped short of saying so, Eustace compared the Prime Minister’s situation to past allegations of misconduct by ministers of the previous New Democratic Party (NDP) administration.{{more}}

“Over the years, some members of the NDP Administration have had to resign for accusations of much less gravity. Given the nature of the charges against the Prime Minister, I expect the PM to do the honourable thing,” Eustace said at a press conference today.

Yesterday, Thursday, January 31st, a 36-year-old police constable, in a sworn statement before Chief Magistrate Sonya Young, said that on January 3, she was raped by Gonsalves at the Prime Minister’s official residence at Old Montrose.

At a press conference this morning, Dr Gonsalves, flanked by his wife, cabinet ministers and members of his legal team, categorically denied the accusations, dismissing them as politically motivated; an attempt by his adversaries to damage him politically and discredit him in the eyes of the people.

“For the Prime Minister to imply that his being made to defend a claim of rape and indecent assault is somehow the workings of the opposition NDP, and is politically motivated, is utter nonsense,” Eustace said.

Eustace however warned persons to be careful about what they say about the matter, and stressed that while the accusations are serious, everybody is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He however stressed that he doesn’t feel that “the good people” of St Vincent and the Grenadines should have “this matter of a private Criminal Proceeding of such a sordid nature hanging over their heads for months to come.”

“This will affect negatively the international, regional and the domestic image of our country and its people,” Eustace said.

Eustace further used the occasion to highlight his party’s concern about the level of crime in the country.

“The parliamentary Opposition, whose views I represent, has repeatedly articulated our unwavering moral repugnance to crime in principle and our appreciation of the destructive influences which widespread criminal activity has been wreaking on the livelihood of our people,” he said. Adding, “We have made tackling crime a central feature in our strategies and programmes to advance the social and economic welfare of Vincentians.”

Meanwhile Dr Gonsalves has vowed to fight the accusations, promising to defend against “all the conspiracies and plots against me”.

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