By Demion McTair. Updated 9:39 a.m., Tuesday, September 2, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – Vice President of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), St. Clair Leacock, says St. Vincent and the Grenadines has remained an unruly country since the Grand Beach Accord.
The Grand Beach Accord was an agreement made in Grenada in 2000, where local and regional leaders came together to help settle political instability in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Accord cut short the life of the New Democratic Party with early elections in March 2001. There was unrest in the country, particularly due to a move by the NDP to increase pensions and gratuities for Parliamentarians. The NDP had already lost the popular vote in the 1998 general election but had gained a one-seat majority in Parliament.
On a LIVE, streamed on Facebook and on Radio on Monday night (September 1), Mr. Leacock, who was endorsing the NDP’s South Central Windward constituency candidate Mr. Israel Bruce, said Mr. Bruce who was a youth leader at the time, held his ground and gave no support to then opposition leader – Dr. Ralph Gonsalves during the negotiations.
Mr. Leacock says Mr. Bruce held a steady head as a youth representative at the accord, even in the face of pressure, and said “right is right and wrong is wrong and not for a single moment you were going to lend Gonsalves and company one ounce of support to undue constitutional rule in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. But, lo and behold, we lost that battle”.
Mr. Leacock says “St. Vincent has remained an unruly country until this very day, because the very man in office now who wishes to speak about democracy and how political parties and nation-states conduct their business, was the principal constitutional lawbreaker and our young people must know that”. Mr. Leacock added, referring to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, that he “destroyed the promises that was [sic] held out for our beloved St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.
Bruce, a Lawyer and now a candidate for the NDP will face incumbent Saboto Caesar in the upcoming election.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has said that the next general election will be held before the year-end.