Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves has promised the people of that country that he is prepared to listen more to them after his party won a third consecutive term in yesterday’s elections.
Speaking last evening to the nation he said it’s time for healing and cooperation in the country following the general elections.
Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party (ULP) won a slim margin in the elections, winning eight of the 15 seats up for grabs and the New Democratic Party, under Arnhim Eustace, won seven seats. The ULP went into the election with a 12-3 majority in the last parliament.
“This country has seen a lot of divisiveness and bitterness, perhaps even hatred through politics. I’m hoping that now that we have this contest behind us we can have a time for healing and for cooperation. I know in our competitive politics it is often difficult to cooperate but the honourable members on the opposition would know that there is more which unites us in this country than divides us. I reach out as I did in 2001, as I did in 2005, that it takes two to tangle; if the opposition does not respond appropriately, well the people will see. We have a government to run,” Gonsalves said.
Gonsalves promised the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines to listen even more keenly than ever before.
“I promise to empower you or to assist you in empowering yourself even more than ever before,” he said.
The prime minister said there is a great task ahead in these hard economic times.
“We have weathered the financial and economic storm pretty well but I say to you next year is also going to be a most challenging year. We are not yet out of the woods,” he said.
Gonsalves said the government will continue to work hard and he intends to complete the Argyle International Airport, continue the education revolution, create low-income houses, create more jobs and wealth to make the economy more safer, better and stronger.
He told Vincentians that they will see him on the streets more often than before. “I repeat, I will listen very attentively. I do listen and I do listen well. I will interpret what you say very keenly, you will see me on the streets far more than you have seen me over the last five years. I will be in communion with you,” he said.
He said a swearing-in ceremony is planned for this Wednesday where he will be sworn in as Prime Minister and Girlyn Miguel as Deputy Prime Minister. He also said part of the cabinet will be sworn in on Wednesday.
He thanked the supervisor of elections as well as the regional and international observers who monitored the elections.
The prime minister further called on the nation to participate in a day of prayer and thanksgiving this Sunday, and promised to provide five more years of leadership.
He also had a message to those persons who do not like him. “I am asking those who don’t like the comrade, I am asking those for whatever reasons being vanity or that I am standing in your way, look the people have spoken, forget about many of the things you say about me – the falsehoods; let us try to see if we could work together better for St Vincent and the Grenadines. I am prepared to give it a chance because as we say it takes two hands to clap, it takes two dancers to tango,” he said.
Today is a public holiday in St Vincent and the Grenadines.