The choice in this election is clear – Friday
by BRIA KING
New Democratic Party (NDP) president, Dr Godwin Friday believes that the 2020 General Elections is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for change and a better tomorrow for citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
The bell has been rung by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and elections are slated for November 5, 2020 – one month earlier than widely anticipated by Vincentians.
“Every day I go around Kingstown, every day I go around in my constituency. Every day you must hear it from people. ‘When the man calling this thing? I can’t wait for him to call this thing’ and we tell yo that if Ralph ain’t call election, election ah call him,” Friday said at a virtual meeting, minutes after the date was announced last evening.
The NDP’s president referred to the Unity Labour Party’s motorcade on Thursday afternoon, noting that when they drove through Kingstown and saw the reception from the people, they (the ULP) decided that it was time to head to the polls.
He added that his party has been waiting for this time to come since the start of the Elections Petitions in 2015.
“Don’t kid yourself. The choice in this election is stark and it is very clear,” Friday said. “Your vote matters. I’m talking here to everybody. Your vote matters because it will decide what sort of country we will be and what kind of future you and your family will have.”
This will be Friday’s first General Elections as the leader of the NDP and he is pleading with the public to “give me and the New Democratic Party and this outstanding unprecedented team” an opportunity to form government and deliver for the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Friday, who is the NDP’s candidate for the Northern Grenadines described the people’s choice as a simple one, noting that they would either be voting for more broken promises, complacency, self-interest, nepotism and victimisation under another Unity Labour Party-led administration or a new beginning for the nation’s people with the NDP.
“Promises have been made over and over again. Assurances have been given over and over again and they have not been kept,” he said. “They will come to us, they will come to our people all over the country, now that the bell has rung. They will come with promises and gifts but that is only because they want to get your vote. In the long years afterwards, as you have seen, they do not deliver for our people.”
The NDP’s president said there is an abandonment of serious planning going forward to develop the country and a dereliction of duty on the part of the ULP.
He added that under the ULP-led administration for the past 20 years, there has been a lack of economic opportunities for the majority of people.
Friday noted that many young Vincentians migrate to the US, Canada and other countries in the region in search of self-improvement. And while they seek to better themselves, SVG suffers a loss, as the country becomes ill-equipped to grow its economy.
“That is why we are in the mess that we are in now in this country. What have we seen, what’s happening in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Our cost of living has been rising. Everybody knows this. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Our people suffer because they can’t get jobs, especially our young people. They need to earn a better living to provide for themselves and for their families,” he said.
Maintaining his narrative of change, the NDP leader said that the NDP has a clear plan and determination to build a better SVG with one of the biggest job creation programmes ever in the history of the country, in an effort to deal with the current unemployment crisis.
“Over 36 per cent of our people are without jobs. For young people, it is over 50 per cent. This is why this election is important. This is why change is so important,” he said.
Friday said: “as we have said over the several months of this campaign, our priority is to create jobs for our people. We want to build a St Vincent and the Grenadines in which everyone who wants to work, has an opportunity to do so”.
The politician said overall better conditions will be created that will encourage young people to stay and build their futures in their home country, which will in turn drive the development of SVG.
“Make no mistake, we are not setting our sights low. We will set ambitious goals for our people and our country,” the party leader said.