NDP founder again calls for Eustace to go

  • ‘…by not stepping aside, he is also sending a signal that he doesn’t think any of the members of his party are ready to take over leadership.’ — Sir James.
  • ‘…there will always be more boats in Ottley Hall than planes at [Gonsalves’] airport.’ — Sir James.
Former prime minister, Sir James Mitchell. (File photo)

Former prime minister, Sir James Mitchell. (File photo)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 3, IWN – Former prime minister Sir James Mitchell has again called for his handpicked successor, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, to step down as head of the New Democratic Party (NDP).

Sir James, who founded the NDP in 1975, was asked on IK TV’s “Unrendered”, broadcast on Sunday, about his opinion of the NDP’s chances in the next elections, after three successive defeat.

He was asked what impact he thinks the completion of the international airport at Argyle would have on the outcome of the next vote, constitutionally due in 2015.

“I am going to throw out a challenge to Prime Minister [Dr. Ralph] Gonsalves. I bet him there will always be more boats in Ottley Hall than planes at his airport,” Sir James said in reference to the marina his administration built and for which the Gonsalves government obtained debt forgiveness, and had termed a “failed project”.

“Let time tell us how things evolve. I wish you well. I am not going to say anything derogatory about that (the airport),” Sir James further said of the EC$652 million project that Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party has used as a central plank of its election campaigns since 2005.

The airport is scheduled to be completed this year and to become operational in 2014.

“… my party needs to re-evaluate itself. It needs to understand in all honestly where they are,” Sir James said of the NDP.

“When the people keep rejecting you and have rejected you three times at the polls, be careful. It sends a clear signal to you and the party has to understand first of all and fundamentally, there is a difference between leadership of a party and leadership of the Opposition,” he said.

“Leadership of the opposition is a constitutional position decided on by the majority of the members,” he further stated.

Sir James noted that in Barbados, where Owen Arthur led his party to an electoral defeat last month, he did not turn up for the vote where the majority of elected member of his party selected as opposition leader Mia Motley, who Arthur had defeated in a vote years before a the election.

“He (Aurthur) is still leader of the party. We need to understand that difference and we need to really go forward…” Sir James said.

Asked by host Toney Regisford, “Are you saying all of this to say that the current leader of your party should step aside?”

Sir James said: “He should. And, by not stepping aside, he is also sending a signal that he doesn’t think any of the members of his party are ready to take over leadership.”

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace (File photo).

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace (File photo).

The NDP lost the 2010 election, one year after it convinced electors to reject proposed changes to the nation’s constitution.

Some commentators said the constitution referendum was a vote on Gonsalves stewardship and the ULP would have lost all but two of the 15 parliamentary seats, if the referendum were an election.

Sir James said that after the referendum he did a statistical analysis and saw three seats — North Windward, South Central Windward and Marriaqua — “were within the margin of error”.

“In other words, they were easy seats to lose. And, I am sure, knowing the strategist that Ralph (Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves) is that he must have done such an analysis also. But, when I put that to my party and its implication — and I was not happy about some of the other candidates. But it was not mine to call. I could only point the way.

“So, the important things are really statistical analysis and not being ashamed to get polls to see where you are.

“Everybody was rejoicing with the referendum and everybody was boasting what a wonderful job they had done. But I was looking for the weaknesses in the results,” Sir James said.

He said that while he was not confident that the referendum victory would have translated to a general elections win, he did not make such comments publicly.

“I was on the platform saying things to the contrary, but I knew within me what we had to do,” Sir James said.

Meanwhile, Eustace was asked at a press conference on Feb. 11, if he would step down as NDP leader.

“The leadership is not for sale,” he told journalists.

“We have a constitutional process in the New Democratic Party, which we stick to, in respect of leadership,” he further said.

Eustace further noted that he was re-elected leader of the NDP each time the position came up for election.

He further said that he put the position to a vote ahead of time and that he amended the constitution of the NDP to allow the party’s convention, rather than its elected parliamentarians, to selected the leader and also reduced the length of the terms from five to three years.



9 thoughts on “NDP founder again calls for Eustace to go

  1. Well, like I have always said, I wouldn’t HIRE ARNHIM EUSTACE to MANAGE a MAUBY much less GOVERN a COUNTRY.

    It seems like James Mitchell, FOUNDER of the NDP and the MAN who HANDPICKED EUSTACE to TAKEOVER HIS POSITION as then PRIME MINISTER, AGREES with me.

    That said; James Mitchell stating that “I bet him there will always be more boats in Ottley Hall than planes at his airport,” is just SILLY TALK.

    So what if there are more boats at the Ottley Hall Marina than planes at the Argyle International Airport?

    I will leave that question opened so people can see the SILLINESS of what he wants to IMPLY.

    Posted by VINCYPOWA | March 3, 2013, 17:16
  2. And that’s why Sir james is my favorite politician. Say what you want, but the man was very clever and more clever than more people gave him credit for. But the NDP selected Mr Eustace as the leader and put there faith in him and that must also be looked at as having some significance. With all that went down, it’s anyone’s guess if the election was fair and square. A friend of mine told me that there were allegations of entire ballot boxes thrown away after the government had gotten the result they wanted.

    I believe that Mr Eustace can do the job. He is not your typical politician, he’s an economist and don’t play coopy in politics, he’s straight to the point and all business. The ULP days are done, so SVG needs a man like him, who predicted most of the financial follies that the government got us in.

    Posted by saneblane | March 3, 2013, 17:17
  3. I honestly can’t be mad at Mitchell for asking for Eustace’s head. Mitchell is a political animal and is probably saying,given the woeful ineptness of this ULP Government and the many missteps of it’s leader; the NDP ought to be back in power. So what gives? Well the leadership of the NDP has to come under scrutiny, is Eustace not ruthless enough? And to me, there lies the single, biggest, weakness of Eustace, he is not a political animal, he is a bureaucrat not a politician. Eustace is the sort of person, you need behind the scenes proposing policies ala Ben Bernake of the Federal Reserves. By all reasonable political analysis, the NDP should have won the last election; but somehow, the NDP managed to hand victory to the ULP; it was just mind boggling, to see how the NDP was lurching from one political tactic to the next with no apparent game plan. Just to point out one small issue that was indicative of the NDP’s lack of political strategy:Ms Frederick, a political neophyte of the highest order, but someone with great potential, was running in a constituency that is a relative ULP stronghold, but at the same time, the NDP still had a 50/50 chance of winning it…but the NDP had Ms Frederick as their PRO, WHILE BEING A CANDIDATE, how can this be? And so while Ms Frederick was on the radio doing her PRO job, she was losing valuable time to campaign as a candidate. Who do you blame for such a foolish campaign, the candidate or leadership? …

    But I also have to be honest and say, there is really no one at the moment in the NDP that fills me with unbridled joy at being the next leader. Of course there are the usual suspects in Mr Leacock and Dr Friday, and truth be told, none of these guys have shown that they are Prime Minister material…maybe they could turn out to be the next Obama, but I am not holding my breath. I have in the past mentioned Mr Leacock as the next leader of the NDP, but I have some serious reservations with Mr Leacock’s temperament and his seemingly scandalous personal affairs. Who else is there in the NDP, to take over the leadership, mm, Dr Lewis? Well if he can’t win in his own constituency,where else can he win? Dr Lewis, while a brilliant man, lacks a certain quality that would endear him to the masses, can’t seem to put my finger on it…mm…is it character?. Charisma? Humility?, Help me out here…lol

    So, to me, there is really no one at the moment to challenge Eustace for the leadership of the NDP. I think Mitchell wants to be kingmaker and that’s why he throwing shade at Eustace, but at the end of the day, the people will vote for who they want as leader and thus far; dem want Arnhim Eustace.

    ….a thought, what if Anesia comes back and renounced the Thusian Institute and the crazy man in TNT…publicly apologize whole-heartily to Eustace and the NDP supporters. Promise to keep her religious views on a personal level and off the political rostrum….and then challenge for the leadership of the NDP, would you vote for her?

    …bye bye Eustace.

    Posted by Teacherfang (@Llijame) | March 3, 2013, 21:46
  4. Kenton

    Why this penchant for elevating nonsense talk into news? There is always going to be more yauths in Barbados than planes, the Caribbean busiest airport.

    The number of planes landing at the airport is a non issue. Mitchell framed it that way to deflect from the more important question: why [was the country] looted to the tune of $185 millon on a project that was valvued at $10 million?

    Hardly anyone denied the possibility of making money with a marina. The th problem is that ottley turned into a fiasco. By the time ULP got into power the NDP had already paid $16 million interest payment for a project valued at $10 mil.

    Mitchell need to go to sleep and leave Vincentians alone.

    But he wont because journaalist like yourself help him to perpetuate his supersized and destructive ego on our nation.

    Beside, his notion that Eustace needs to go is on point. But Regisforf misses the boat for his failure to follow up. Who in Mitchell’s estimation should take over.

    And there is your opportunity to make news. Call and ask him.

    Continue to do good work.

    Stay strong


    Posted by Wefirst@Aol.Com | March 3, 2013, 22:04
  5. Jomo, You are pedalling just as much crap as you have been fed. Do you honestly believe that the Marina is/was valued at 10 Million? Just consider the earthworks at the airport. When its all done and you cannot view that element of construction or have had no knowledge of what went into it, it will be difficult to appreciate where the money went. I remember bathing at Ottley hall as a child so I know its significantly different. These days, everything they do cost a million minimum, whether it is community bath or bus shed. Anyway to the point, I do not know what you read but here is what Mitchell said, “I am going to throw out a challenge to Prime Minister [Dr. Ralph] Gonsalves. I bet him there will always be more boats in Ottley Hall than planes at his airport,”

    Posted by 19xxx37 | March 4, 2013, 14:06
  6. Mr Chance, how long do you need to moderate a post….you either accept it or reject it….are you consulting with your lawyers, c’mon bro, nothing in that post is injurious to anyone…I think….plus you have the prerogative to remove anything that you deem offensive or legally problematic. So whats the hold up?

    Posted by Teacherfang (@Llijame) | March 5, 2013, 19:45
    • Teacherfang,

      Thank you for visiting and for your message. We regret that it has taken so long to process your comment. However, longer comments are sometimes placed at the bottom of the queue for processing, simply because they take more time. We are working to address this.

      Posted by Admin | March 5, 2013, 20:20


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