Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has looked through his lens of twenty-six (26) years of representative politics in the parliament of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to determine who in his mind have been the most ineffective constituency representative.
Speaking at a ULP North Leeward campaign event last week, the Prime Minister said:
“I am the longest serving parliamentarian currently, 26 years, and by far the two worst parliamentary representatives I have seen in those twenty-six years are Nature Stephenson and Patel Matthews.”
“I don’t know which one is last or which one is second to last, they must be joined for last place.”
The ULP administration sees the North Leeward and South Leeward constituencies with 12 and 118 votes differentials respectively to be marginal. According to Dr Gonsalves, both constituencies will be easy pickings for the ULP as it campaigns to be elected for an unprecedented fifth term in office.
Giving the crowd a historical lesson, The ULP leader who was first elected as Prime Minister of March 28th, 2001 with a 12-3 margin added:
“In the 10 years that Patel is a representative, it is only on one occasion that Patel write me a letter or made a representation to me to address any individual problem for anybody in his constituency…he too proud to do that. And the person he did it for is an old friend.”
Roland ‘Patel’ Matthews who constituents particularly from the ULP has dubbed ‘lazy’ will be fighting for his political life on the 5th of November.
Gonsalves also spoke about his own time in opposition and as Opposition Leader telling the jubilant crowd which gathered:
“When I was in opposition, even when I was Leader of the Opposition, when I have an individual problem of a constituent of a housing matter, I will make an appointment to see Louis Jones and sit down there. I will go and sit down and wait on Monty Roberts.”
“I wasn’t too proud to go and represent my people, individuals, to go and solve their problems. I used to go to James Mitchell and say this or that constituent had a particular problem.”
He criticized the two NDP constituency representatives for not doing enough to highlight the plight of individual constituents saying that representation is not only about sitting in parliament.