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Sir Vincent says NDP not honest with populace

Sir Vincent says NDP not honest with populace

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Former Political Leader of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) Sir Vincent Beache has accused the top brass of the New Democratic Party (NDP) of trying to make fools of Vincentians in the run up to the November 25, 2009, referendum.{{more}}

“We have a lot of worthless people on the other side who always come and try to fool people,” said Beache, at a rally dubbed a “National Family Gathering” staged by the ULP led administration at Rabacca, on the north eastern cost of St. Vincent, last Sunday.

Beache disputed claims that the late Prime Minister Robert Milton Cato did not invite the local National Independence Committee (NIC) to attend the St.Vincent Constitutional Conference held in London in September 1978 to discuss a constitution for this country.

He is also of the view that founder of the NDP Sir James Mitchell is not being honest with Vincentians by taking a stance against the proposed constitution.

Quoting from the official report of the St.Vincent Constitutional Conference held in London, Sir Vincent said: “In this, it says, and let me quote so that you can understand: ‘Invitations were issued to the St.Vincent Labour Party which was returned to power at the last General Elections in 1974 and to two other parties who hold seats in the St.Vincent House of Assembly, namely, the People’s Political Party (PPP) and New Democratic Party. All three parties initially accepted the invitations but the PPP and the NDP later withdrew their acceptance’.

“So when you hear they tell you that Cato didn’t want them to go, it is a lot of nonsense. The records are here. This came from the British Parliament,” Beache emphasized.

He also recalled that the NDP won the July 1984 General Elections and in the party’s Manifesto there were explicit calls for constitutional reform. He noted that by September 18th that year, Mitchell appointed the Committee on Legal and Constitutional Reform.

“That’s how keen he was on constitutional reform. He didn’t even allow two months. I believe that’s the first thing he did as Prime Minister,” said Beache.

He stated that Sir Rupert John was appointed Chairman of this Committee, while Henry Williams, J Thomas, Yvonne Francis Gibson and Parnell Campbell (Secretary) were appointed committee members.

The veteran politician said the committee’s terms of reference were to make recommendations for the establishment of an Integrity Commission to monitor the financial gains of members of parliament, and to address the issue of crossing the floor, among other things.

Beache said he found it ironic that Mitchell opposes these same ideas proposed in the new draft constitution, when 25 years ago he advocated them.

Beache, now retired from active representative politics, called on Vincentians to raise their consciousness, as well as their voices, as the country votes on the constitution. (HN)

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