Vincentians Gearing up to Elect New government

The polls will be a straight fight between the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP), which is seeking a third consecutive term in office, and the main opposition New Development Party (NDP) even though the Green Party has nominated candidates in 13 of the 15 seats at stake.

Supervisor of Elections Sylvia Findlay-Scrubb says that 101,052 persons are eligible to cast ballots in the election coming nearly four months before the constitutional deadline of March 2011.

She said the Electoral Office is gearing for “reasonably high turnout” and has brushed aside reports of voter irregularities even before the first ballot is cast.

These 101,052 citizens, Thomas says, have the power to decide the fate of the nation over the next five years.

“Maybe, these elections may have more far reaching implications. They may decide the life chances, especially of the poor and the youth, for the next generation,” Thomas said in his column in The Vincentian Newspaper recently.

Renwick Rose, another analyst makes a similar case in his column in one of St. Vincent newspapers, Searchlight.

He says: “The choice in Monday’s election must be based on taking our country forward, on enlightening our people, on providing vision and leadership, on strengthening social programmes which have tremendously benefited the poor, the young, those with disabilities, in promoting a wider social dialogue, in creating a solid platform on which our children can build.”

Political leader of the ULP and Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, pitches the NDP as backward and lacking ideas to take the nation forward and tells voters that the party, which turned 35 this month and governed for 17 years ending 2001, will roll back much of the progress the nation has made over the past nine years.

Meanwhile the opposition party’s (NDP) spirits are high after the results of the referendum on proposed changes to the Constitution, which voters rejected by 55.6 percent to 43.1 percent last year.

But local analysts warn that those returns may not necessarily translate into a general election, where the issues are different.

Polls open at 7 am and close at 5 pm and Vincentians are expecting results from individual polling stations as early as 7 pm and the full outcome of the election by midnight although the winner is likely to be known before then.

The elections are being observed by the teams from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), in addition to the local National Monitoring and Consultative Mechanism.

Contents of this news items was obtained from I-Witness News

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