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PM challenges Opposition leader on alleged illegal registration

PM challenges Opposition leader on alleged illegal  registration

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The Prime Minister has said that he is willing to bet that neither the Leader of the Opposition nor the New Democratic Party (NDP) will go through with filing criminal charges against the Unity Labour Party (ULP) or anyone else, amidst their claims of illegal constituency transferring of voters.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made the assertion during a call-in radio programme which was broadcast on NBC Radio and carried by several other local stations last Wednesday night.

Describing Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace as a “weak man”, Gonsalves scoffed: “I will bet Eustace his house in which he live and my house at Gorse that he cannot and will not bring a single charge, criminal charge, in this week or any week, as a matter of fact, directly!”

He explained that even if any charges were to be brought against his party or its members, based on the allegations, this cannot happen unless the Attorney General issues a fiat to allow it.

Additionally, Gonsalves said that any prosecution to be done has to go through the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and if the NDP or Eustace have any evidence to support their claims they should present it to the DPP and allow him to deal with the matter.

According to the Prime Minister, Eustace and the NDP have little to no evidence of what they accuse, so no charges will ever be brought against the ULP through the legal system.

Gonsalves also took the opportunity to address other issues that members of the NDP have raised recently.

In response to a call for a polyclinic in the Central Kingstown constituency by its parliamentary representative St Clair Leacock, the Prime Minister explained that experts had conducted dispersal research into this matter, and had decided that only three areas (Marriaqua, Buccament and Stubbs) were in dire need of such clinics.

Furthermore, Gonsalves acknowledged that while there may be room for a polyclinic in Central Kingstown, it is not a priority, given the fact that the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital is a short distance away via public transport.

He also urged the MP to “not make determination because it’s in your constituency.

“These guys are making policy on the hoof, on the run…” he lamented. “Government cannot function like that.”

Also discussed was the recent claim published on news website ‘Caribbean News Now’ that a Nigerian businessman, who is alleged to be involved in criminal activity in his country, was sold a Vincentian passport for US$75,000.

The Prime Minister denied this allegation, insisting that it is “near impossible” for this to happen since the new security system at Passports and Immigration has been implemented, because regulations on acquiring passports have been tightened significantly.

He even recalled that when his Government was introducing the new guidelines and restrictions for the obtaining of passports, members of the NDP were “upset” that persons overseas were being inconvenienced in getting their passports.

Moreover, the Prime Minister highlighted the fact that members of the NDP also seem to have shied away from the issue of honorary citizenship for Garifuna in the diaspora, despite it being a topic of much contention not too long ago.

“Eustace did not think it through…They treating the matter like jumbie ‘fraid holy water!”

Referring to the Opposition Leader, Gonsalves said: “The man is not ready for Government… it’s just a tissue of lies, one after the other in their faces, and how can an outfit like that engender confidence… I have never in my life seen an Opposition so weak in what they are articulating.” (CM)

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