Some persons expected it. Some people did not expect it. In the cut and thrust of competitive electoral politics, the announcement of the election date signals both the start and the end.
Prime Minister Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves addressed the nation last night and indicated that he had advised the Governor General Dame Susan Dougan to dissolve the current parliament today Friday 9th October 2020 making way for Vincentians to go the polls.
Many people had widely expected a December elections which the Prime Minister has favoured since his first victory on March 28th, 2001.
This time having asked the Lord to speak to him, Dr Gonsalves said he was led to Deuteronomy Chapter 11 verse 5.
Thereafter he announced that St. Vincent and the Grenadines will elect a new government on Thursday 5th November, 2020 with nomination day set as Tuesday 20th October, 2020.
“I am the person as Prime Minister mandated under Section 48 of the Constitution of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to advise the Governor General on the dissolution of parliament for the purpose of holding general elections.”
“I report tonight to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines that I have received such a confirmation. In several speeches, I have quoted Deuteronomy the fifth book in the Bible, five inna row.”
“I quoted Moses God’s anointed prophet and liberator of the Hebrew people in Chapter 11 Verse 5: It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the desert until you arrived at this place.”
“St Vincent and the Grenadines had been a metaphoric desert in March 2001, and we have come to far better place in a far better condition, a transformed condition and as Moses emphasised it was your own eyes that saw all the great things that the Lord has done.”
“The eleventh chapter in Deuteronomy represents to me in our circumstances the 11th month of the year, November. The fifth verse is the fifth day. General elections will be held on Thursday November 5th, 2020.
Earlier in the day speculation was rife as the Political Leader of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) tested the mood on the ground with a motorcade around Kingstown snaking its way out to Arnos Vale and ending in Campden Park where the party has established its virtual campaign headquarters.
Not caught off guard, the New Democratic Party had signalled in parliament during yesterday’s sitting of parliament that it would have been quite possibly the last sitting before the next general elections.
And while the ULP parliamentarians tried their best to mask their pre-knowledge of the decision to announce the election date later that day, the NDP correctly paid tributes to former Prime Minister and party leader Hon Arnhim Eustace.
The governing Unity Labour Party (ULP) is seeking an unprecedent fifth term since their first victory in 2001.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) is being led for first time by Opposition Leader Dr Hon Godwin Friday who replaced Mr Eustace as Party leader following his decision to step aside after four successive defeats.
Dr Friday is the long standing parliamentary representative for the Northern Grenadines.