KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Thursday December 10, 2015 – Dr Ralph Gonsalves will serve as prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines after leading his Unity Labour Party (ULP) to a fourth consecutive election victory.
But predictions of a landslide victory in yesterday’s election did not come to pass. The ULP won with the same one-seat majority it took in the last election, with eight of the seats in the 15-seat Parliament. The other seven went to the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) led by Arnhim Eustace.
ULP victory st vincent pic.twitter.com/JpA1hFOYpp
— Damion Crawford, MP. (@DamionCrawford) December 10, 2015
Both party leaders won their seats, along with Gonsalves’ son, Camillo Gonsalves, who contested an election for the first time and defeated the NDP’s Linton Lewis, who is the opposition party’s chairman. He got 3,124 votes to Lewis’ 2,521 votes in the East St. George constituency.
However, the ULP has called for a recount in two constituencies won by the NDP – North Leeward and South Leeward.
In South Leeward, the NDP’s Nigel Stephenson kept his seat, winning 119 votes more than the ULP’s Jomo Thomas who secured 2,619 votes; while in North Leeward, the NDP’s Roland Matthews got 2,259 votes, beating newcomer Carlos James of the ULP by just 7 votes.
“We are looking into various issues in North Leeward and South Leeward and we are also calling for an immediate recount to ensure that all the votes are counted in those constituencies. There are more rejected ballots than the margin and those ballots should be examined closely to determine the intent of the voters,” Gonsalves said.
The prime minister said he was humbled by the victory.
I thank God for a wonderful victory through the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I’m honoured to serve you for another term.
— Ralph Gonsalves (@ComradeRalph) December 10, 2015
“I am humbled and honoured that the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines embraced our bold vision for the future and rejected the politics of hate,” he said.
“We ask Vincentians to celebrate this victory in peace and maturity. Now is the time to come together as one nation to address our developmental challenges and move forward to uplift our nation and its people.”
We congratulate Prime Minister Gonsalves and the ULP on their electoral success in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. pic.twitter.com/57hTYcrXLs
— Press Secretary (@PressSecSLU) December 10, 2015
Election Day featured allegations of fraud, levelled by the NDP even before the polls had closed.
The opposition party said there were many irregularities including illegal voting, and two different sets of voters lists.
Also contesting the election but making no real impact were the Democratic Republican Party (DRP) and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Green Party (SVGP).