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Bacchus says Eustace should step down as Leader of the NDP

Bacchus says Eustace should step down as Leader of the NDP

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Political activist and radio talk show host Junior Bacchus believes that Leader of the Opposition and President of the New Democratic Party Arnhim Eustace missed some vital chances to remove Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves from office.{{more}}

As he discussed the prospects of a new political party being formed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bacchus, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Monday, January 24, pointed out seven areas, where, in his opinion, Eustace was ineffective as a political leader in his bid to unseat the Prime Minister.

Citing the issue of the outstanding loans of the Attorney General and her husband from the National Commercial Bank, while her husband was Chairman of the Bank, and the “collapse” of the Bank, Bacchus said the Opposition Leader wasn’t able to “effectively put up a fight to get rid of the Attorney General.”

“Ralph, in opposition, got rid of two Attornies General for much less: Bencosome Adames and that issue of that one million dollars; Carlyle Dougan fell for that; PR Campbell and his loans in the New Bank; this Attorney General is more grievous.”

Bacchus listed six more issues in which he claimed Eustace, who was Prime Minister from October 2000 to March 2001, failed to capitalize in relation to regaining leadership of the country.

These included rape allegations against Dr. Gonsalves in 2008; Eustace’s reaction to the divestment of shares of the National Commercial Bank; the handling of circumstances surrounding the US $1 million deposited to the NCB; the release of convicted drug dealer Alex Lawrence and the press conference to announce the NDP’s plan to construct an international airport.

“….He confused the public in terms of his own party’s position,” Bacchus said, in relation to the press conference, which took place just days before the December 15, 2010, general elections.

“The other one is the teachers: the lacklustre approach of the re-employment of the three teachers; he basically left it as a Teachers’ Union matter… when these people made the sacrifice for them.”

Bacchus said the examples given were the ones that he could remember ‘from the top of his head’, but there were many more, if he needed to identify others.

He also said that if the New Democratic Party is to move forward, the Opposition Leader should do the honorable thing and allow the party to refresh itself.

“The thinking, therefore, is that Eustace should step down as the leader of the party. He could remain in the House as Leader of the Opposition for a period; transition the party for probably (Godwin) Friday… or (Daniel) Cummings for that matter… to take charge, to give it a new impetus a new vision, a new image….”

According to Bacchus, he has been a driving force in the attempt to unseat Dr. Gonsalves for the past six years, for whom he said, there were as many, or even more reasons, why he should not be leader of the country.

Bacchus said there are a number of issues they could touch on in relation to Gonsalves’ leadership, including foreign policy and governance style. (JJ)

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