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NDP should accept defeat and get back to work

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23.DEC.10

Editor: In the lead up to the December 13th General Elections,

the NDP was brimming with confidence from their strong showing at

last year’s constitutional referendum. Then, the NDP won thirteen of the fifteen constituencies and fifty-six percent of the popular vote and rightly claimed that God and the people had spoken, democracy was alive, and the voters were hailed as intelligent people.{{more}}

Then came the cries for the immediate resignation of PM Gonsalves. He was a lame duck Prime Minister leading an unpopular government, and the seemingly impatient NDP in the absence of this resignation, constantly called for the election bell. NDP supporters said it was time for the people’s will to be effected and for God’s will to be done.

Then came the December 2010 General Elections, where the same padded voters’ list of the last seven general elections and last year’s referendum was prepared and the same personnel and system of voting was used by the same sixty-odd thousand voters. The result, a victory for the ULP Government.

A regular, familiar voice on NICE radio the very morning after the 8-7 ULP result claimed that Vincentian people were stupid. At the same time, at 6:30 am, another NDP supporter, a female Trinidadian, asked a Prescott on Facebook: “Why are you offering prayers for an ignorant nation?” So that quite suddenly, the electorate that had overwhelmingly voted with the NDP in the referendum one year ago had inexplicably taken leave of their senses.

The immediate official response from the NDP leadership was an equally venomous one, with claims of widespread cheating and bribery. The day after the elections, the NDP publicly vowed to contest the results and to work assiduously to bring down the ULP Government in less than one year. Indeed the vanquished and smarting Vinnie’s BB message the morning after said “I give them six months”. Later that same day, PM Gonsalves extended the hand of unity asking that the NDP accept the results.

At the swearing in Ceremony, Sir Frederick Ballantyne called for Unity; he called for PM Gonsalves to be inclusive and to promote unity is this his third term. Jules Ferdinand in his post election column also called for PM Gonsalves to put partisan politics aside and to be mature and responsible and to embrace the Opposition.

Significantly, though, the formerly well-balanced Jules could ONLY find it necessary to urge the smarting and venomous NDP not to feel weakened and to do a quick introspection and post-mortem so that they can come back even stronger in their efforts to oppose and depose the ULP. This is

the very same ULP whom Jules now says should put aside partisan politics and be all-embracing with the Opposition.

The NDP must surely be advised by the likes of Jules, Adrian, Kenneth and Bassy to accept defeat and stop the unchristian-like practice of hate for ULP, and more especially hate for Ralph Gonsalves. They must listen to the voices on NICE and HOT to really appreciate what is fuelling the political divide

The NDP cannot continue to conjure up national debates on radio or in the press every time Gonsalves twitches and turns. We need all hands on board as we tackle the serious challenges of 2010. More importantly we need the Opposition to soften their posture if they are to present themselves as credible and genuine partners for the ULP in the push for national unity.

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