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Time for change of leadership in SVG


Editor: This upcoming general election will be very important for the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. This is an opportunity for Vincentians to make a choice of who they desire to lead the country into the future.{{more}}

For those of us who know about our former Prime Ministers like Robert Milton Cato, Sir James Mitchell and to some extent Arnhim Eustace, we all understand that leadership plays an important role in general elections.

The two candidates contesting for the role of Prime Minister are Mr Arnhim Eustace and Dr Ralph Gonsalves; both these men have a track record of leadership. Some may say “no” in response to my opinion about Mr Eustace. A leader is one who is trained, has quality, is manageable and Mr Eustace has these essential qualities and that is why he is a very suitable contender for being the next Prime Minister.

The question is, why do some Vincentians compare Dr Gonsalves’ leadership to Mr Eustace’s leadership, without taking the initiative to analyze Mr Eustace’s leadership skills?

So, in my humble opinion, I think it is very unfair to compare Mr Eustace’s leadership to Dr Gonsalves’. The question you should ask yourself is what has Dr Gonsalves achieved as a leader before gaining the title of being Prime Minister? As a leader, I can’t recall what he did; can you?

There is no doubt that when he became Prime Minister, he demonstrated some sort of leadership, but that comes with the territory of being a Prime Minister.

Dr Gonsalves is a wonderful human being; he is full of charm and charisma and many Vincentians are hooked on this charm and charisma. Dr Gonsalves demonstrates what some would say is great leadership; but it’s time for a change of leadership; it’s time for fresh views. This country needs someone who is very dedicated and serious about this country’s development and that is where Mr Eustace comes in.

I always say that Dr Gonsalves came and did well in his 14 years as the Prime Minister, but it’s time for a change.

Many of the younger population are yearning for a difference in the leadership of the country. I often observe young people speaking out about their displeasure of the current situation in St Vincent and the Grenadines. I often hear cries about the lack of jobs, poverty and alleged abuse by the police officers. The majority of the young people I interact with that are unemployed often tell me that they are qualified in several different levels of studies, ranging from secondary to a college degree, yet still can’t find employment. It is not an easy task to create jobs, but it should be an essential objective of the Government.

There is some sort of evidence that Dr Gonsalves is preparing a plan to change the leadership of the ULP. I believe that his son Camillo Gonsalves is the one he has in mind to replace him as the leader of the ULP. First, he made him the ambassador to the United Nations; after that, he made him the Minister of Foreign Affairs. By doing this, Dr Gonsalves is admitting that his leadership is coming to an end. Mr Eustace, if given the chance, will make a huge difference with the economy, agriculture and the tourism sector and create over 20,000 jobs. Democracy will be at its best and the poor people will see results. It’s time for the Government to stop giving me a fish, but instead, teach me to fish, so we won’t create situations when we wait on government to give us a handout through the NIS. The NDP has been in opposition for the past 14 years and they know what needs to be done. I hope Vincentians will put the country first and vote for the suitable party to lead us to the future.

Kingsley DeFreitas