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Dr Ralph Gonsalves hails historic ULP victory

Dr Ralph Gonsalves hails historic ULP victory

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Dr Ralph Gonsalves has described his fourth consecutive victory at the polls as political leader of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) as a humbling experience and a magnificent historic victory.

Gonsalves, who listened to the election results at his home at Gorse in his constituency of North Central Windward, said on Wednesday {{more}} night after the results were announced that,“anytime the democratic will of the people is exercised and you have been given their favour, it is a humbling event.”

Speaking from the East St George constituency office of his son Camillo Gonsalves, who had just claimed victory in that area, Gonsalves, surrounded by party supporters, said that he was humbled by the fact that the ULP managed to claim what the preliminary count said was 52 per cent of the votes cast that day.

The NDP have 47 per cent of the votes, while the other two parties, the Democratic Republican Party (DRP) led by Anesia Baptiste and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Green Party, led by Ivan O’Neal, claimed statistically zero per cent.

“I am humbled by this magnificent historic victory, because it is the first time that we are having a party getting a fourth consecutive term with the majority of the seats and a majority of the votes and in this case we have improved our position in respect of the plurality of the votes, because we got more votes than we did in 2010,” said the elated politician.

He said also, that looking at the five seats on the mainland that the ULP did not win, it must be noted that in every single one of them, the majorities of the Arnhim Eustace led New Democratic Party (NDP) have been reduced.

“In the case of North Leeward, by six votes, in the case of South Leeward by 117 votes and in each of the Kingstown seats, Eustace, Cummings and Leacock have had their majorities slashed. They are ready for the pickings.”

Eustace contested the December 9 elections against the ULP’s Luke Browne in East Kingstown and won 2,443 votes, to Browne’s 2,298. St Clair Leacock of the NDP went up against Beresford Phillips of the ULP in Central Kingstown, with the NDP winning this seat with 2,588 to Phillip’s 2,096. In West Kingstown, the NDP’s Daniel Cummings beat the ULP’s Deborah Charles with 2,456 to Charles 2,015.

Gonsalves said on Wednesday night that in the constituencies which the ULP won, they have either maintained support or increased support with a dramatic increase recognized especially in East St George, which was won by his first child, Camillo.

In that constituency, where Camillo came up against the NDP’s Linton Lewis, 3,124 of the voters preferred Camillo, a first-time candidate, who had taken over from the ULP’s Clayton Burgin. Lewis polled 2,521 votes.

“Camillo is the only candidate that has gone past 3,000 votes. He is the first person ever to have gone past the threshold of 3,100 votes and he has done better than me in absolute terms, though he has some distance to go to catch me in a percentage terms. I want to give him the credit for the absolute score,” said Gonsalves.

“….we have a lot of work to do. I want to thank those who contributed so much to our campaign”, said the political leader, who noted that in his opinion, all the ULP candidates performed very well.

“I want to thank the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines for reposing their trust in us again. The campaign of love and hope has defeated a campaign of hate and the gutter. The campaign of positivity has defeated a campaign of negativism and in all, I would like to thank Almighty God for this immense victory,” he stated.

Gonsalves, who now joins Sir James Mitchell in having won four straight elections here, said that he has already received congratulations from people nationally and across the region and in the hemisphere, “as people realize this victory is also a victory for the region and for progressive ideas and policies in the hemisphere.”

He said that he never had any doubts that he would have taken the reins of government once more.

“I made the point very straightforward from the platform that the eight we had, they couldn’t touch any of them and you notice we increased our majorities in Marriaqua, West St George, East St George, South Windward and we basically held our own in other constituencies. I would say we did quite well.

“When I heard Central Leeward results, I called him (Louis Straker) and said, ‘the terminator is back’ and he did a fantastic job.”

Straker beat the NDP’s Ben Exeter by 2496 to 2182 in the preliminary count. A recount was called in this constituency, as in North Leeward, where the NDP’s Roland ‘Patel’ Matthews beat first-timer Carlos James of the ULP by 2,259 to 2,252, a mere seven votes.

Dr Gonsalves said that now the elections are over, the Government will continue its work and will have the Estimates ready to pass before the end of January, while work will also begin on the budget.

“We have a lot of work to do. While other people would be having a relaxing Christmas, some of them would have to be dealing with these numbers to put things together. We have an exciting programme, as we laid out in our manifesto and I think people accept this programme,” said Gonsalves, who beat the NDP’s Kenroy Johnson by a mile with 2,998 votes. Johnson polled 743 votes, while Haran Grant of the DRP polled 17. (LC)

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