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De Comrade gets a taste of party support

De Comrade gets a taste of party support

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ULP 7-UP

It was another, and by far, the greatest show of support for embattled Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, even though, officially, the huge event at Rabacca last Saturday evening was not so dubbed.{{more}}

Officially, the Unity Labour Party (ULP) held a celebration to mark the seventh year since they took office on March 28, 2001, ending the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) 17-year reign.

But the thousands that filled the area on and around the Rabacca Bridge made it clear at every prompting, especially when he arrived, and after his speech, that they came to show support for “De Comrade.”

“It is saying that we love our leader,” Education Minister Girlyn Miguel made clear during her short address.

So while the crowd could not be compared to the ridiculously massive gathering at the historic Rabacca Bridge opening March last year, it was huge enough, impressive enough, to paint a picture of a rallied party base, an enthusiastic bandwagon, determined to stand by their leader, and party.

“It does not matter what political conspiracy they concoct against Comrade Ralph, I will not be detained, and I will not be subverted or undermined… I will not slow down and I will not lose my focus,’ Dr Gonsalves said to an eruption of cheers.

Dr Gonsalves used the opportunity to remind supporters of the work being done by his government, from the capital projects completed and those under construction, to the many and varying educational scholarships, to the recent salary enhancements.

“I nice up the place like it has never been nice up before,” he said.

He said that St Vincent and the Grenadines is being looked upon in the world as “a model developing country.”

He said that his government has and will continue by its policies to take care of the poor and working class.

He also boasted of the country’s economic growth over the last seven years of 4.2 percent, which he compared to 2.6 during the NDP’s last eight years in office.

As he made a point to show that in the midst of the two sexual assault matters that he is currently embroiled in, he continues to function, Dr Gonsalves announced that he has been invited to make an official state visit to Austria, a landlocked Central European country, with a population of 8.5 million, on April 12th.

He explained that he may have to adjust this date because he expects the Venezuelan Vice Minister to visit on April 11th. Dr Gonsalves recently led a contingent on a one week state visit to Turkey.

Former political leader of the ULP, now advisor to the Prime Minister, Sir Vincent Beache said that on a “one to one basis, and performance, they (the NDP) can’t compete (with the ULP).”

He said that the NDP has resorted to sleaze and mud slinging in the absence of substance for a political battle with the ruling party.

“We have complete confidence that this country was not the same in 2001 as it is today,” said Deputy Political leader, Sir Louis Straker.

Information Minister Selmon Walters and his Agriculture counterpart Montgomery Daniel also delivered addresses.

So by the time the dust settled in the wee hours of Sunday morning, the ULP band wagon had converged on Rabacca, listened to some good Karaoke singing, including a surprisingly passable duet by Dr Gonsalves and Minister Clayton Burgin, inspiring speeches, and a good enough performance by soca band HS Phfactor, with Bomani and Shanelle Mc Kenzie, to say it was good to be there.

But as the NDP continues to call for him to step aside as the legal wheels turn in the rape matters, the real winner last Saturday was Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves; thousands still believe in him, and his professed innocence.

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