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No peace without justice – NDP Vice-President

No peace without justice – NDP Vice-President

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The New Democratic Party (NDP) is readying itself for the long haul in relation to the protests the party is currently staging.

“There will be no peace without justice, but there will be no justice without peace,” said vice-president of the NDP St Clair Leacock on Wednesday while speaking on Boom FM’s OMG in the Morning radio programme.{{more}}

Leacock, who won the Central Kingstown seat on an NDP ticket during the December 2015 general elections, said that the NDP is convinced and has the evidence to prove that the general elections were stolen and they have put this evidence before the court and therefore are hoping for the right outcome.

But while Leacock noted that the NDP respects the court, he made contradictory statements at times.

At one point Leacock said, “We have to accept the ruling of the court; we are a country of laws. We can appeal and we will,” and at another juncture he quipped, “You won’t have peace”, while speaking to Boom’s hosts Dwight ‘Bing’ Joseph and Stephen Joachim.

Leacock said that the protests are being carried out to protect democracy in a country where stealing has become institutionalized and has to be stamped out once and for all. He said that the NDP will get every single one of their candidates to mobilize in all constituencies, “to resist this violation.”

“We as a party understand the separation of powers… legislative, executive and the judicial branches of government. We have put before the courts, through our lawyers, a body of adduced evidence that is fairly clear.

“We will await the court’s ruling. This is a democracy and we will fight to maintain a democracy and no political party must not be allowed to overturn our rights,” said Leacock.

“We are firm that the election was stolen and we will demonstrate…,” added Leacock, who noted that the NDP is not unique in the stance that they have taken.

He said that back in 2001 when the Unity Labour Party (ULP) forced the historic Grand Beach Accord, he was one of the participants in Grenada and in his opinion, the Accord came into being, “because we had this very identical situation.”

Some social commentators involved in the 2001 Grand Beach Accord do not agree with Leacock’s analysis, as at that time, although the NDP had an 8-7 majority in Parliament, the ULP had the popular vote. Today, the ULP has both the popular vote and the majority in Parliament. Also, in the months leading up to the Grand Beach Accord, the protests were led by civil society organizations, including the trade and public sector unions, a situation not seen today.

Leacock stated on Wednesday that he does not understand why the leader of the NDP at the time, Sir James Mitchell, decided to allow for fresh elections, as the NDP had the support of the region’s leaders, who, he said, did not want to accept the reasoning of the ULP political leader Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

“When we had his identical situation, we signed an accord saying that we will put in place a mechanism…the National Monitoring and Consultative Mechanism (NMCM) who will have the right to declare an election to be free and fair and report that to the Christian Council,” said Leacock, stressing that in the 2015 election the NDP did not get the opportunity to use this instrument.

The 64-year-old politician said that the NDP wants persons to look at the last general elections not in a quantitative way, but a qualitative way and also to notice the electorate was moving away from the ULP.

In the 2015 elections, the ULP got 34,246 votes (52.3 per cent), an increase of 1.2 per cent over the 2010 elections. On the other hand, 31,027 votes (47.4 per cent) were cast in favour of the NDP in 2015, a decline of 1.3 per cent from 2010.

“We are not going to fall in the trap of an election petition on the strength of a quantitative argument. Elections give consideration to quantitative issues and qualitative issues and we are saying that on the basis of the qualitative argument in this election, where you have significantly violated the process, we are putting that before the court and say examine that and see if sufficient violence has been done to the election.”

He said that the NDP decided to reveal to the public the content of their election petition before the court, as it is important and fundamental to educate people about the basis on which the NDP is not accepting the results. (LC)

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