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Election Day in St Vincent and the Grenadines is December 9

Election Day in St Vincent and the Grenadines is December 9

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Voters in St Vincent and the Grenadines will go to the polls on Wednesday, December 9.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement of the country’s ninth general elections since Independence on Saturday night, accompanied by fireworks, at a rally of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) at the Richmond Hill Playing Field in Kingstown, before thousands of party supporters.{{more}}

The announcement of the date did not come as a surprise, as Gonsalves had been giving several hints over the past few months and increasingly during the last week, that he would make the announcement Saturday night.

When the ULP political leader arrived at the rally at about 8 pm wearing a grey suit and red tie, instead of his customary red shirt and slacks, onlookers knew that the announcement of the date was minutes away.

But before he announced the date, Gonsalves, gave the attentive audience seven reasons why the electorate should return his government to office. (1) the ULP has a people centred vision; (2) the ULP has chalked up a record of achievements that has been felt by every family and the nation as a whole in the most challenging of circumstances; (3) the ULP has a talented team of candidates; (4) the ULP possesses a quality collective leadership that has been tried and tested; (5) the ULP has kept its promises to the people in every area of public policy; (6) the ULP has a profound love for the people of the country individually and collectively; (7) the ULP offers continued hope to the people of the country.

He also gave, in summary form, 20 major policy promises on which he said his government has delivered and listed 15 projects that his government has planned for the next term, which he referred to as ‘stars’ for the future.

Gonsalves also detailed several programmes of the ULP that he claimed the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) will stop, should they be voted into office.

He also promised that during the run-up to the elections, there would be no personal attacks on, or gossip about the NDP candidates, by members of his platform.

“You will not hear any of that from this platform,” he repeatedly said.

“These elections are about making our lives better, not about taking us into the gutter,” he declared.

The Prime Minister said on Friday, November 6, he informed the Governor General that Parliament would be dissolved on Saturday, November 7, the same time he made the announcement of the election date.

Nomination Day is Friday, November 20.

The ULP is seeking its fourth consecutive term in government, having come to office in March 2001, when it defeated the Arnhim Eustace-led NDP, 12 seats to three. The NDP had at that time been in office for 17 consecutive years, having been led for most of that time by Sir James Mitchell, who stepped down as prime minister six months before the March 2001 elections.

In the December 2010 elections, the ULP lost four of the seats they had previously held, narrowly holding on to power with a one-seat majority over the NDP.

The 2015 elections are again expected to be a straight fight between the ULP and the main opposition NDP, although the Green Party led by Ivan O’Neal and the Democratic Republican Party led by Anesia Baptiste have also signaled their intention to contest the poll.

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