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Nobody should force Mr Eustace out of office – Leacock

Nobody should force Mr Eustace out of office – Leacock

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Supporters of the New Democratic Party (NDP) are being called upon to be patient with party leader Arnhim Eustace as he sees the party through this challenging period.

Expressing his loyalty to Eustace, vice-president of the party St Clair Leacock this week said no one should force the leader out of office.{{more}}

“…We are continuing; Mr Eustace continues to be the president of the New Democratic Party; he deserves our support, he continues to have my loyalty, he has to continue to have my support,” Leacock said, adding that he, Eustace and NDP vice-president Dr Godwin Friday all have their own exit strategies.

Leacock’s remarks were made on Wednesday on Nice Radio, during the New Times programme.

“Nobody should force Mr Eustace out of office, nobody should hurry Mr Eustace’s departure. I am absolutely sure that he will always have what is best for St Vincent at heart. He will always have what is best for the New Democratic Party at heart and you have to trust his judgment, as you have trusted him always, to allow him to provide the leadership that is required at this time, until in his own infinite wisdom he makes a determination for transition.”

Having led the NDP to its fourth consecutive loss at the polls, calls have increased in some quarters for Eustace, now 70 to resign as leader of the party.

“I have never got a sign that he wants to be there until thy kingdom come; I certainly don’t have that for myself. I don’t believe Friday has it…or even any of the younger brigade,” said Leacock.

“Please in this time when he needs even greater love and understanding, be patient with him as he sees these difficult challenges out, especially court matters and the political activism that is necessary at this time. In fullness of time, all will be revealed; in the fullness of time, the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines will be redeemed and you will have the Government, not just that you deserve, but the Government that will deliver to you a better St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Leacock, who was last week elected to represent the constituency of Central Kingstown for the second consecutive term, says he believes it is a good reason he will be in Parliament again.

“I believe it’s a good reason I will be in the Parliament again and I will be stepping up on the leadership support that I am lending to the New Democratic Party. I will be pressing that gas, because we have over 30,000 people who have to be supported and represented.”

As for the legal challenges his party says it intends to make in relation to the results of the December 9 poll, Leacock is remaining optimistic.

“I look forward, like the leader of the party, that we will get the best outcome out of the court matter. I will cross my fingers and I leave my optimism at that door.”

The ULP was returned to office in the December 9 poll by eight seats to the NDP’s seven. Alleging irregularities in the Central Leeward constituency, the NDP has refused to concede defeat and has said it will challenge the results of the elections in court.

Leacock, however, said if greater emphasis is placed by his colleagues on getting their houses in order prior to general elections, they would have better outcomes.

“We need to avoid having to deal with post mortem situations and place greater emphasis on the functions check before your circumstances, so that you have your house in order. One of the worst experiences you could have as a politician is to have to listen to results on the night and not to win; it stressful it is painful, and it is hard.”

Leacock is the only candidate on the NDP ticket to have increased the margin by which he won his seat, compared with 2010.

With his tally of 2,600, he beat Beresford Phillips of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) by 516 votes. In 2010, he breasted the tape with 2,445 votes, ahead of Elvis Charles of the ULP, who scored 2063 votes.

‘The Major,’ as he is popularly known, expressed his support to his colleagues and suggested strategies they could use to improve their outcomes.

“… one way we could improve that is get to your constituencies; do your house to house. Keep knocking on doors; be a friend of every family and every voter in the constituency; know and understand the needs to the back of your hand. Understand that purpose and privilege you are given is not yours; it is temporary, one to be the maximum to the people. They are your family; they are extensions of you and if we wait too late we can find ourselves in trouble.”

He advised that attention be paid to all aspects of the electoral exercise, such as getting people registered and getting them out to vote.

“Comb the list, see who haven’t gone to the poll as yet; this is an aggressive exercise. It’s all about winning for improvement of all, not just for yourself…”

‘The Major’ said he interprets from being returned as the parliamentary representative for Central Kingstown that his constituents are pleased with his representation.

“… my interpretation of the vote first is to say that we have listened to you, Major, in the Parliament; we are satisfied with the way we are being represented in the legislative process. We are equally satisfied with what you presented on the platform for political, economic and social reform for our constituency.

“We are also satisfied with principles by which you abide, your loyalty to your party, your loyalty to your leader, but you own independence and leadership. I also acknowledge and accept that you were saying yes, Major, we are with you, that this our culture needs serious transformation; needs to lift our game and that there is a better way for us to be doing business than we have been doing.”

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