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Parties deface intersection

Parties deface intersection

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It has been described by one observer as the “ugliest place in St Vincent and the Grenadines right now.”

Since the announcement of the election date last Saturday evening, the Sion Hill intersection in East Kingstown has been defaced with large, untidy markings of the two main political parties – the Unity Labour Party (ULP) {{more}}and the New Democratic Party (NDP).

Social media has been abuzz with the development, with some calling the markings ‘disgusting’, ‘an outright shame’, ‘ugly’ and ‘disgraceful’.

General secretary of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) Julian Francis, speaking on the BOOM morning show on Wednesday, said that painting the streets is unnecessary, especially at a time when there are many mediums to get the message across.

“There is absolutely no need for any Labour unit, constituency or activist group in any of the constituencies to be defacing public property.”

Francis, who contested the East Kingstown seat on a ULP ticket in 2005, also disclosed that he had spoken to the painters recently.

He said he told them that the area was “looking ugly, it is environmentally unfriendly and it’s an old method of campaigning.”

“It is an essential policy of the Labour Party in this campaign not to paint on the streets and walls,” he stated.

He indicated that the matter was being dealt with internally within the ULP.

However, residents of the community seem to be not as bothered by the paint as others are.

When SEARCHLIGHT visited the Sion Hill intersection, supporters of both parties were out in their numbers, some blowing horns, others ringing bells and chanting political slogans at each other.

Supporters of the NDP were at that time constructing a key that was to be displayed in the community, while some ULP supporters were painting and decorating the campaign office of their candidate Luke Browne.

Dexton Weeks, who identified himself as a resident and supporter of the NDP, told SEARCHLIGHT that in placing the markings, they are simply highlighting and defending the party that they support.

“The painting is just to highlight your support in relation to the party you defend, but at least people within the maturity of conscience should be able to use their discretion in how they going to execute their imprint on top of the road.”

He believes that people are just using their constitutional freedom to express their political view now in this heightened political climate.

“This is a respected community throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines…this is not no disturbance to nobody, just your constitutional right.”

He, however, noted that although residents may have different political opinions, he does not want the community to become divided because of politics.

Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told SEARCHLIGHT that both sides should be respectful of the law and people’s personal property.

“I think there is a time and place for everything and even though we are in the political climate… I think it’s best that each side respect people’s personal property…and respect the laws.”

He explained that they employ the method of painting the streets and walls to get the message across to the persons who are not quite technologically adept.

The East Kingstown resident, who stated that he is a supporter of the ULP, opined that his party has a tighter rein on their painters than does the NDP.

“The other side, they account for a lot of the mess that is on the road currently, because they don’t have any structure in painting.”

He also pointed out that the ULP uses paint and stencils, so when it rains it would not spread and look “nasty”. (CM)

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