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Look out for new political party in PRESS

Look out for new political party in PRESS


By April this year, Vincentians will know if this country will have an alternative political party.{{more}}

In the meantime, co-founder of the Political Reform, Equality, Socialization and Services (PRESS) Matthew Thomas, has sent out a casting call for men and women of calibre, who are willing to offer themselves for candidacy and are willing to form the next government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Thomas, Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, said that his group is currently in its early stages, and the responses it receives from the general public would determine if it moves forward.

“It is not a Political party per se, that has been formed; time will evolve that, like, between now and April. If the response has been positive we will launch a political party.

Thomas and co-founder Junior Bacchus; also his co-host of the Monday night radio program ‘Stay Awake’ on NICE Radio, are currently selling their idea in the form of a discussion paper.

The paper describes the potential party as a social democratic organization whose philosophy is based on the democratic rights and freedoms of the people as enshrined in the constitution of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and within the precinct of the Westminster Parliamentary Democracy.

According to the paper, its objectives include the building of self reliance within each individual and in the nation as a whole, the creation of an environment that affords equal opportunities for all, and the impression on the minds of each individual, that he or she has a stake in the nation, and on no occasion should that individual be made to feel like an alien.

It also pushes a local government system which wrests the political power away from the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and rests it in the ‘hands of the people’.

The political activist, who claims to want no part of political office, said that the urge to form a new political entity was motivated by the desire to unseat the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP); something that cannot be done by hosting a radio programme or by the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), which he said lacked the will to win.

“The opposition NDP would benefit from whatever work we do; so much so that people think we are members of the NDP or promoting the NDP. We are neither members of the NDP nor promoting the NDP; we have a common goal….”

“So Junior and I on Stay Awake we cannot do it by ourselves, so we have to align ourselves to a political party… but as I say, we have been doing this for six years and we come to realize that our work is not appreciated enough by the NDP; they are not making use of what we have been doing, so I feel as if we are ‘spinning top in mud.’”

“So we feel that given the approach to politics generally and the way they (NDP) are going about things; that Ralph would use the resources of the government and his own resources as a human being and he will win the next elections comfortably.”

“So we are saying to continue our goal to unseat him, the most likely way is to take the middle road and you can only do that by forming a new political party. A pressure group cannot remove the government.”

A former ally of the Prime Minster, Thomas said the response to the idea of a new party has good, but an official announcement would not be made until they can accumulate four to five men and women, who they believe can draw supporters from the “lackluster NDP” and “disgruntled backers” of the ULP.

Thomas also dismisses the idea of working along with the Green party, which he says will never get anywhere.

“I say that they (NDP) are like a man standing under a mango tree and hoping for the mangoes to drop; you have to go up and pick the mangoes. So we will do that in the name of a group that is prepared to challenge Ralph.”

“Green Party leader (Ivan O’neal) is me friend, but we have to be realistic; it is more than ‘a long way to Tipperwary’ with Green party.”

“If by now and March-April we cannot find that gathering of people who are willing to do so, then we just close up the program.”

The political idea may not be the only programme that may be closed, since Managing Director of NICE Radio Douglas Defreitas, expressed reservation about the duo returning to his station with their agenda, following last Monday evening’s presentation of the PRESS agenda on Stay Awake.

Leader of the Opposition and President of the New Democratic Party Arnhim Eustace declined to comment on the formation of PRESS when asked to do so on Wednesday.