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‘Five in they tail’

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‘Five in they tail’

Gonsalves celebrates as he creates history with fifth-consecutive election victory

Saturday, November 07, 2020

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KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves created history in the Caribbean Community (Caricom) when he led his ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) to a comfortable fifth-consecutive victory in general elections here on Thursday.

Preliminary figures released here by the Electoral Office showed that the ULP had won nine of the 15 seats in the Parliament, an increase of three seats on the previous one-seat majority he had enjoyed in the last two general elections. It is the first time that a political party has won five-consecutive general elections here.

Gonsalves, 74, easily won his North Central Windward seat he has been representing since 2001, brushing aside the two other candidates — Chieftain Neptune of the main Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) and Kadmiel McFee of the CVG Green Party.

In a message posted on his Facebook page, Gonsalves thanked voters for returning the ULP to power.

“It’s celebration time. It is five in they tail,” he wrote, as party supporters gathered here for the celebration.

“Today, the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines embraced the politics of ‘Lifting SVG Higher’. They embraced our progressive agenda for the future by returning us to Government.

“I am humbled and honoured that the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines embraced our bold vision for the future and rejected the politics of hate, backwardness and colonialism.

“We ask Vincentians to celebrate this victory in peace and maturity. Now is the time to come together as one nation to address our developmental challenges and move forward to uplift our nation and it’s people,” Gonsalves added.

NDP leader Dr Godwin Friday, 61, who led the party into a general election for the first time, easily retained the Northern Grenadines seat he has represented in Parliament since 2001. He polled 2,123 votes as against 458 for the ULP’s Carlos Williams.

The NDP, as has been customary, swept the two seats on the sister isle of the Grenadines. The other seat, in the Southern Grenadines, was won by Terrance Ollivierre, who defeated Edwin Snagg by a margin of 1153 to 559.

One of the causalities of the election was Health Minister Luke Brown, who was defeated by newcomer Dwight Fitzgerald Bramble in the East Kingstown constituency that had been represented by former NDP leader Arnhim Eustace, a former prime minister and finance minister, who quit active politics last year.

Brown, who polled 2,306 votes had been defeated in the last two elections by Eustace and had hoped to win the seat in his absence. Bramble polled 2,547.

Friday has not made any public statement following the results, but regional political scientist and commentator Peter Wickham said that the result is an “historic first in the region”.

“He [Gonsalves] has outdone former St Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrt and even PJ Patterson in Jamaica. So it is something significant,” Wickham said on the State-owned NBC Radio here.

But he also noted that this is the second election in the Caribbean in recent times when “an aged party in office has been able to pick up additional seats”, making reference to the situation in Dominica last December.

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