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Diary of an Ingrate [Chapter 9] No Confidence in Arnhim Eustace

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Fri Mar 28, 2013

“Good night…Carlyle Dougan – remember the name – I am very proud, very, very impressed with the leadership demonstrated by Mr Arnhim Eustace on the St. Kitts issue. He was outstanding, I feel so very proud as a Vincentian and I think all the people in this country ought to be very proud of the stand that he has taken – the leadership quality – the quality of the leadership demonstrated.{{more}}You know that I have over the years supported Ralph – Prime Minister Ralph in many ways; he has lost out on his one. In my view, he made his friendship with Denzil Douglas blind him to what is right and what they ought to have done. I would suggest this finally to him, that he start to consider withdrawing from Caricom, a very, very important point. I don’t like what’s going on, they have not been doing… something is wrong with Caricom and I want Mr Eustace to know that I am fully behind him and the stand that he has taken and he can only move forward in the most positive way from now on as one of the leaders, as one of the, and maybe the, future Prime Minister of this country.” [March 21, 2014]

“…I am a big time supporter of the New Democratic Party, but I am going to differ. I think that Denzil Douglas is right to stand his ground because the guy that in question, he ran on the labour party ticket that Denzil Douglas is the head of, and if he have a problem with the Prime Minister, resign, go back to the people and let us see what the people will do. He gonna run on the opposition ticket, most likely Denzil Douglas will get a new candidate and then go back to the people and the people gonna say, “am I going to stick with Denzil Douglas, am I going to support this guy and the labour ticket?” I think that’s what needed to be done,” Radio caller -WE-FM, March 26, 2014.

The following is a partial reprint from on article which appeared here March 16, 2014.

Whereas the Searchlight, March 9, 2012 [pg4] carried a news item: Eustace – Antigua Meet None of PM’s Business.

Whereas that news item carried, among other things, a statement by the almost 12-year Leader of the Opposition about the circumstance of a “Vote of No Confidence” in government.

Whereas I deemed the statement to be incorrect; I hustled out of bed, firstly in search of a newspaper dated January 28, 2000 and next a copy of the constitution booklet.

Whereas of late several persons have accused me of thinking am an authority on all things, I sought further clarification from one who has served longest in the House of Assembly of St Vincent and the Grenadines, on the issue of timing on a No Confidence Motion.

Whereas I read to the gentleman, what Searchlight said the Honourable Leader of the Opposition stated, he assured me that the statement was incorrect.

Whereas he asked if I had a copy of the constitution; he told me he would call back. He did in two minutes. He read: Chapter three – Parliament, Part three: Summoning, prorogation and dissolution.

Whereas in the newspaper of January 28, 2000, page 9 item headlined: The ‘nays’ have it, it reads: It is not customary in our parliament when a vote is cast that the Speaker will say “the nays have it”. The No Confidence motion was handed to the Clerk of the House of Assembly on Tuesday, January 18, 2000 with the debate taking place three days later. It is the third time they had brought a Vote of No Confidence against the ruling NDP.

Whereas, Jomo Thomas in a column in The Vincentian, January 27, 2012 (not February 3, Ms Fundamentally Right, Maia Eustace) stated: Whenever Eustace stands next Gonsalves, the PM looks like a genius. Ralph Gonsalves as Leader of the Opposition had brought a No Confidence Motion in less than two years.

Whereas in the said 2000 motion Ralph Gonsalves deem the AG, Carl Joseph, not worthy of holding office. He also said: The Minister of Communication and Works is incompetent. The Minister of Agriculture should be put back there. And Orminston Boyea added: The Minister of Health (Burns Bonadie) should make a promise that he will not, while he holds office, be caught smoking.

Whereas the late Larry Bascombe predicted that Arnhim Eustace, like Vincent Beache could not beat James Mitchell, will never beat Ralph Gonsalves.

Whereas Jomo Thomas writing in The Vincentian, January 13, 2012 stated that in 1998 the historical moment had passed Beache, in 2010 the historical moment had also passed Arnhim Eustace by.

Whereas Ken John writing in The Vincentian December 9, 2005 stated that Arnhim Eustace if he failed to win government should exit the political scene.

Whereas after the 2005 election, Senator Leacock stated that “it would be a hollow victory, if Mr Eustace were to win his seat again and the NDP did not form government.”

Whereas Sir James Mitchell in his book, Beyond the Islands, wrote at page 435: The newcomer, (the gravedigger – one who starts at the top, my words) the economist I had brought in – Arnhim Eustace, my Finance Minister – timidly indicated his willingness [to lead].

Whereas Arnhim Eustace just prior to the election of 2005 stated: ‘I have no desire to be prime minister, it was never an ambition of mine. I have no overwhelming desire to be prime minister -if it come, it come. I could easily leave this party tomorrow. I keep telling people in the party that… I done pay my mortgage….’

Whereas Maia Eustace, daughter of the Leader of the Opposition has raised the phantom issue of race as a reason her father has not been able to win nationally. She, in fact, deprecated on a huge percentage of Vincentians, “There is something in the water in St Vincent and the Grenadines.” She and those of her ilk are immune. They have no self-loathing; we do.

Whereas Arnhim Eustace in his interview with Searchlight published March 9 is quoted: “In the third sitting of parliament, the Opposition can bring its motion; but what has been happening over the years…we are never able to debate in parliament, because they either put in a lot of other motions before ours, because we cannot debate after five o’clock…. We haven’t been able to debate in 11 years.”

Whereas, Chapter Three, Part 3, 47/2a: If notice in writing is given to the speaker signed by no less than three Representatives, of a motion of no confidence in the government, the Speaker shall – (i) if the House is then in sitting or has been summoned to meet within five days, cause the motion to be considered within seven days of notice or

(ii) if the House is not then sitting and has not been so summoned (and notwithstanding that Parliament may be prorogued) summon the House to meet within fourteen days of notice and cause the motion to be considered at that meeting; provided that if the House does not, within twenty-one days of notice, meet and dispose of the motion, the clerk of the House shall summon a special meeting of the House at such time and place as he may specify for the purpose of disposing of the motion.

Whereas after almost 12 years in the House, supposedly doing the peoples’ business, the Leader of the Opposition is ignorant of the laws of the House, this must be the final straw, an outright insult to all the citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines. This is not a party political issue.

And whereas, the Leader of the Opposition as shadow finance minister, cannot distance himself from the British American/Clico debacle.

Be it resolved that it is time for ARNHIM ULRICK EUSTACE to be removed as leader of the Opposition.

Note: The News in their article on the same issue has to its embarrassment given its readers the same ignorant explanation as Mr Eustace.

It is amazing – a crash course on parliamentary procedure – that Arnhim Ulrick Eustace has become the leading voice on Votes of No Confidence in CARICOM.

Frank E da Silva

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