The Unity Labour Party (ULP) has stormed to an unprecedented 5th victory in the November 5th general elections with its leader Dr Ralph Gonsalves who supporters have dubbed the ‘World Boss’ extending his record as the longest serving Prime Minister in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Prime Minister in a speech at Dorsetshire Hill days before Vincentians went to the polls had predicted that his party will beat the NDP much like its historic 12 – 3 victory in 2001 when the party first romped to power beginning its winning streak.
However, when the dust settled, it was a much more closely contested affair. Although the party romped home to victory in the North Leeward seat, and had a strong presence in Central Leeward, there will be cause for concern in the ULP camp when a proper analysis is done. In the end, the party will take time to celebrate its 9 – 6 victory before any post-mortem session.
The party which has chalked up a strong record of delivering ambitious projects such as the Argyle International Airport, the Rabacca bridge and the education revolution ran on a platform of steady and stable leadership in a time of upheaval in the international political economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The party promised to ‘Lift SVG Higher’ after laying the foundation to secure investments in the new term that will see an economic take off. A modern port, a new hospital, and the outline of a new city at Arnos Vale are among the major manifesto promises which the electorate supported.
Other projects to be featured in the 2020-2025 term includes the development of several jobs generating projects such as the Black Sands Beach Resort, the Sandals Hotel, the Marriot Hotel and the Holiday Day Inn.
Celebrations for the new government will be muted as the government must continue its work to keep the economy growing while keeping the public safe in light of the health challenges confronting the country and the region.
If the Prime Minister is able to deliver on these many promises, then he would have achieved his goal to complete the unfinished tasks which he asked the electorate to grant him one final time in office to so do.
The Prime Minister will over the coming days set out his new Cabinet which will feature some fresh faces among some experience hands.
It is left to be seen how transformative the Prime Minister will lead his new team after securing what political commentator Jomo Thomas had described as the ‘Mt Everest of political achievements.’
Eyes will be on the ministries of Health, Sports and Culture and Transport and Works which may see some changes.
While the Prime Minister may cherish the managerial skillset of Julian Francis in the Ministry of Transport and Works to help deliver his ambitious plans, it will not be surprising if Carlos James is rewarded with this front-line ministry.
Dr Orando Brewster who had been a Rockstar during the election campaign lived up to the hype with a strong victory for the ULP in the Central Leeward constituency which had been a source of election petitions following the 2015 poll.