KINGSTOWN. St. Vincent – Former senator Anesia Baptiste says that her career in politics has not ended, although she has fallen out of favour with the two main political parties here over the past six years.
Baptiste does not think it is possible for her to continue as the opposition New Democratic Party’s (NDP) candidate for West St. George because she disagrees with the party’s recent policy of not criticising other religions.
Further, she considers herself as having been “thrown … away” by the party.
But Baptiste has not ruled out the possibility of running in the next generally elections — constitutionally due in 2015.
“I do have interest in contesting the next general elections,” she told reporters on Wednesday, adding that she did not know if she would run as an independent candidate.
Baptiste was speaking at a press conference about issues that led to Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace revoking her senatorial appointment on April 19.
“Personally, I would say that not being with the [ruling] ULP (Unity Labour Party) and being thrown out by the NDP does not mean that there is no future for me,” she said.
The nation’s two main political parties, she said, are “not the end all of politics.
“God is in control of my life and I am working with Him and when, in the future, there is something that I will do with respect to my politics, I certainly will let you all (the media) know…
“I consider that the New Democratic Party has thrown me away,” she said, citing comments on radio by Eustace and NDP vice-president St. Clair Leacock.
The two NDP executive members, however, did not say that the party had revoked Baptiste’s membership.
Baptiste said that she is now “cautious about knowing exactly, totally, as it were” about the beliefs of any political entity she aligns herself with in the future.
“Things must be clear when you are talking. … They must be clear when people join lest you have to be surprised,” she siad, adding that political leaders “shouldn’t pretend to get people’s vote. Be true to them, really believe what you say when you say it.”
She said that St. Vincent and the Grenadines needs “a shake-up in the kind of politics that is being practised here.
“A new kind of politics is necessary. A new kind of politics that has high esteem for individual rights and freedom …”
She said that politicians “seem to take people under their arms and maybe … try to get you in some compromising position so that if you have to speak out you can’t speak out.
“… It shouldn’t be like that. We need a new type of leaders,” she said, adding that leaders have to realise that they are “servants of the people…
“People should be able to call upon you for accountability. And you are supposed to be mature and not have this idea that I am the leader, I am strong and I am mighty and people must not say this and say that.”
Baptiste further said that some people rally behind political leaders even when they know the leaders are wrong.
“These kinds of things hurt us in this country. … When you point out wrong, there is an opportunity to correct it and improve. When you stay silent because you fear repercussion, the country wallows and continues in corruption and wrong.”
She further said that that kind of politics “needs to go”.
“I believe there are people in this country who are just as fed up of that kind of politics and they are yearning for a new kind of politics,” Baptiste said, adding that the time will come when “that new kind of politics in the country — a more mature kind of politics” will emerge.
“I consider myself to be in mentality already and even in style a part of that new kind of politics and I don’t intend to stop what I am doing in as far as I am doing. So, I see my future as a part of that new kind of politics that is still needed.