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Supporters pledge support to political leader

Supporters pledge support to political leader

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A large, spirited crowd gathered, the Prime Minister made a grand entrance to ear-shattering cheers, and his every sentence caused eruptions of vociferous support – mission accomplished!{{more}}

Last Sunday, March 2, Unity Square in Kingstown was a sea of red, as the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) held a rally to show solidarity with their political leader Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who is facing allegations that he raped a 36-year-old police woman on January 3rd at the Prime Minister’s official residence at Old Montrose.

“I never understood the depths, the fullness of that love (that the people have for him) until I saw you here tonight,” Dr Gonsalves, 62, said when he addressed supporters at the rally.

Dr Gonsalves, who was accompanied by his wife Eloise, said that those who have accused him and are continually trying to dig up dirt against him will not succeed.

He, however, reaffirmed his determination to carry on doing the business of the government amidst the unfolding of the current legal battle, and that he will not step aside amidst these allegations.

“Step aside to go where? Now, because (Arnhim) Eustace can’t step on me (in elections), they want me to step aside…the people are satisfied with the performance of the Unity Labour Party (ULP),” Dr Gonsalves said, adding that the rape allegations, which he has labeled a political plot, will not gain any traction.

He also said that he was confident that the ULP and his government will survive this scandal.

“The government will emerge out of these difficulties stronger and firmer than ever,” the confident sounding political leader said.

“We believe that he is innocent,” said General Secretary of the ULP, Julian Francis, who is also the Minister of Housing and Informal Settlements Francis said.

Francis said that the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has never been able to accept the defeat they suffered at the last General Elections, held in December 2005.

Meanwhile Culture Minister Rene Baptiste said that the women of the party stand behind Dr Gonsalves.

“The women of the ULP will defend our leader,” Minister Baptiste said.

Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel described Dr Gonsalves as a “specially gifted man.”

The rally was punctuated with much music, singing; a carnival like atmosphere, also included gospel music.

Meanwhile, March 11, 2008 is the next big day in the saga of the rape allegations.

High Court Judge, Justice Gertel Thom will, next Tuesday, rule on whether or not the decision made by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Colin Williams to take over and wholly discontinue the rape charges against Dr Gonsalves will be reviewed.

Justice Thom heard submissions last Thursday, February 28 from the police officer’s lawyers, and attorneys representing DPP Colin Williams, Attorney General Judith Jones Morgan, and Chief Magistrate Sonya Young.

Emery Robertson and Kay Bacchus Browne appeared on behalf of the police woman, Sir Richard Cheltenham QC on behalf of the DPP, Anthony Astaphan SC for the Attorney General, while Parnel Campbell QC appeared for the Chief Magistrate.

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