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NDP’s loss – Leadership problems?



Editor: The results of the most recent general elections have sparked discussions about the political future of the leader of the NDP Mr. Arnhim Eustace. First out of the block was Mr. St. Claire Leacock, the successful candidate for the constituency of Central Kingstown. Mr. Leacock publicly stated his plans for the way forward before Mr. Eustace had the opportunity to even comment on his party’s defeat.{{more}}

Reports indicate that Mr. Eustace has been asked to step down as leader of the NDP and possibly Opposition leader because of the party’s defeat at three consecutive general elections with Mr. Eustace at the helm. Ironically, however, is that Mr. Eustace won his seat in the East Kingstown constituency on all three occasions. It is not clear who his successor will be, should he step down, although it is obvious to all and sundry that Mr. Leacock is out front staking a claim to the position of leader of the NDP. It is my opinion that to contemplate a change of leadership at this time and so soon after the general elections is politically puerile, and every effort to support such a change should be immediately aborted. What the NDP and Mr. Eustace need to do forthwith is to marshal the strongest team in the House of Parliament to provide an opposition that will bring the ULP administration to its knees.

There is no doubt in any one’s mind that Mr. Eustace has the ability to channel this country through its current economic stagnation and into a more satisfactory life for our people. He deserves to be our prime minister, and most likely will become our next prime minister in the very near future if detractors concentrate on getting into office and removing the ULP as opposed to removing Mr. Eustace. The task ahead will not be an easy one, but with the support of the other elected members of parliament, in addition to the two senators whom I suspect will be Dr. Linton Lewis and one of the other unsuccessful candidates, this country can look forward to an interesting parliamentary debate with intense political pressure coming from the Opposition benches. Mr. Eustace and Dr. Lewis may well be the only two members of parliament formally trained and qualified in economics and finance respectfully. Together they should make a formidable team in the House of Parliament. Dr. Lewis also possesses legal skills that will greatly enhance and solidify the strength of the Opposition.

The NDP must, therefore, recognise that a strong representation in the House is all that matters at this time to force general elections within this five year period. Therefore, no Opposition Parliamentarian must allow his ego to project him beyond the reigns of the leader, and certainly his personal ambitions must not drive him to make public declarations and suggestions that will satisfy his interests and not those of Mr. Eustace and the NDP. Mr. Eustace can still emerge as prime minister, but in order to do so, he must put his best foot forward in parliament and not follow those whose main aims and ulterior motives are to have a parliament composed of persons presumably for the future, as opposed to a parliamentary mix that has the capacity to force a general elections within the five year period.

Forster Mc Caul