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Ninth parliament opens to cheers and jeers

Ninth parliament opens to cheers and jeers


“Five more years! Five more years!” chanted the large crowd of Unity Labour Party (ULP) supporters on Wednesday, December 29, at the opening of the Ninth Parliament of St.Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

The ULP faithful had gathered in numbers at the entrance of the House of Assembly. But equally boisterous support for the New Democratic Party (NDP) came from that party’s supporters, gathered in front of the Vegetable Market, as they booed their ULP counterparts and promised defeat for the incumbent, whenever General Elections are called again.

Earlier that afternoon, Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves and Deputy Prime Minister, Girlyn Miguel, along with the other members of Cabinet and the Prime Minister’s security detail, walked from the main administrative building on Bay Street to the opening of the Parliament. They greeted supporters on their way.

The victorious members of the NDP who had contested the December 13, 2010, General Elections, along with new Senators Vynnette Frederick and Anesia Baptiste, also greeted their supporters as they made their way to Parliament.

In the House, Prime Minister Gonsalves congratulated all members of the Parliament who were reelected and those who were there for the first time as representatives. He also congratulated all who had made it to the House for the first time as senators.

“I congratulate the Leader of the Opposition, as I’ve done before, especially for leading his Party on another occasion in Opposition,” said Gonsalves, to loud laughter from the audience.

He joked that some people claim that in these difficult times, it is hard being in Government. “I say to them, if you think Government is difficult, try Opposition.”

The Prime Minister congratulated Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan for her longevity in the office of Attorney General; Julian Francis, Campaign Manager of the ULP, for a successful campaign; the young elected members and senators of his team and those of the NDP.

Arnhim Eustace, Leader of the Opposition, in his presentation said although the Prime Minister had said a member of his team would not make it to the House as an elected member, he had lived to see that person take the Oath of Office with pride.

He also congratulated all those who were reelected and elected for the first time.

He said the structure of Parliament that exists now is a reflection of change that was brought about by the Vincentian population.

Eustace to a round of applause from his supporters on the Bench promised that, given that change, there will be a much more vigorous parliament.

“This Parliament that is now elected is one that will create some history. I am confident that the issues that we have to address in the coming months indeed from [January] are heavy and challenging. You can expect from this Opposition that we will be putting our feet fully into the issues that confront our nation,” said Eustace.

Eustace said St.Vincent and the Grenadines needs to move on and develop much more than it is doing now.