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PM sees losing trend in leaders who inherited position


Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has likened politics to algebra, as he commented on an emerging trend in which Caribbean prime ministers who were handed the reins of power, lose their first elections in that position.{{more}}

Gonsalves, speaking at his 299th press conference since forming a ULP government in 2001, said that although it would not happen in every instance, it seems to be the norm in the region.

“There seems to be some kind of trend here; and I’ll tell you this you know, when you get it like that and the people reject you, I don’t know cases where anybody got it back; I can be educated on it, but I don’t know of any cases…. It’s not so easy.”

“People form the impressions of you, you know; whether you’re made of prime ministerial timbre or not. It doesn’t matter what the propaganda says, it doesn’t matter what those in the salon who support you want to say. That’s how the cookie crumbles.

The Prime Minister gave examples of cases where the Prime Minister who inherited the office was unable to hold on to the position when election rolled around.

These include this country’s very own Arnhim Eustace, Stephenson King in St. Lucia, Jamaica’s Portia Simpson Miller and Andrew Holness among others.

Another Prime Minister in that position slated to face the political gauntlet soon is Barbados’ Freundel Stewart, who inherited the mantle from David Thompson who died last year.

During the Press conference, Prime Minister Gonsalves took the opportunity to congratulate Simpson- Miller, whose People’s National Party (PNP) was ushered back into government, following a landslide victory over Holness’ Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) in December last year.

Gonsalves indicated that the PNP is a fraternal party to his Unity Labour Party (ULP).

“You notice the youngsters in the JLP didn’t do so well…. youth is one thing, and youth is very important, but there is a lot of energy in young people and you have to make sure that that energy is harnessed, but people want to know you have safe hands… and people want to know that there is a lot of wisdom, that you have spent a little time in the wilderness and that you have had wilderness years experience.”

“What I have to do… is that I have to make sure that the next generation of leaders inside of the Unity Labour Party is given a chance to grow and develop so that when the people say to me that Ralph you have to go home, there is a set of youngsters who have come along, and people would feel that it is safe to put it in their hands.” (JJ)