SVG -- Persons might be begging the question as to why Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines would have decided to call elections at this time, particularly when the country was recently ravished by Tropical Storm Tomas.
Mr. Gonslaves is the person who has the authority to decides when elections are called, and had until March 2011 before elections must be called.
What is interesting is that one day prior to the announcement of elections by the PM, the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace was able to announce that parliament would be dissolved, and elections held on December 15th.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Parliament, was dissolved on November 15th, 2010 in order for residents to head to the polls and elect a new government on December 13th 2010.
Dr. Gonsalves will surely be looking for a Christmas present, but so will be the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), lead by Mr. Arnhim Eustace. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and his Unity Labour Party (ULP) will be seeking a hat-trick and therefore a third consecutive term in government.
Recent SVG Elections
Elections were last held in SVG on 7th December, 2005. The ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP), led by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves were returned to power with a 12-seat majority, which is identical to the number of seats the party won in the 28th March 2001 election.
Why elections at This Time?
Elections are being held during the Yuletide season, and Mr. Gonsalves has said that elections were previously held on four occasions during this period, and the Opposition NDP had lost on three of those occasions.
SVG was recently ravished by Tropical Storm Tomas and the PM had annouced that Tomas had destroyed 600 homes, damaged infrastructure and totally devastated St Vincent's agriculture sector.
Will Dr. Gonsalves be using the elections as leverage against voters who might be in despair and urgently needs the governments help in these trying times?
Is the government hoping that voters will feel obligated to reappoint the ULP as it has offered them wood, nails, and screws to repair their homes, and seeds to replant their crops?
Surely any responsible government would not do this to its people, in their time of great need.