St. Vincent & the Grenadines Green Party


Fri 3rd Sep 2010

Gonsalves, Straker and Eustace should step aside as parliamentary candidates in the SVG general election for not fully operating the public accounts committee.

Our beloved country has been unnecessarily thrown into deep and painful hardship by the irresponsible ULP and NDP. The people are suffering from a spiralling high cost of living, high electricity and water bills, but more importantly, a total collapse of the rural economy. The situation is serious. Many families have told SVG Green Party Leader, Ivan O'Neal, they cannot send their children to school because of financial hardship.

What is also tragic, is this ULP and NDP man-made disaster. Section 75 (2) of SVG 1979 Constitution mandates that a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) annually review SVG's financial situation, so that problems can be identified and measures put in place by parliament to resolve the problems.

The composition of the PAC is 7 members of the government and 2 members from the opposition, and the convention is that the leader of the opposition is the chairman of the PAC. However, the ULP and NDP parliamentarians have been irresponsible during the period 2001 to 2010.

In-depth research by SVG Green Party has revealed that from 2001 to 2010, there were no annual meetings in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. There were only meetings in 2001 and 2003. Also, no reports of the PAC have been tabled in parliament. This is serious and bad.

The Director of Audit, the constitutionally appointed watchdog of SVG's finances, stated that the apparent non-functioning of the PAC could weaken parliamentary control. The PAC not meeting has meant the government spending has not been reviewed enough.

This has led to wasteful spending of taxpayers' money and our people suffering. There are 3 senior members of parliament, Gonsalves, Straker and Eustace not complying with Section 75 (2) of the 1979 constitution orders to operate the PAC.

There is no difference between the ULP and NDP regimes. It is right to call for Gonsalves, Eustace and Straker to step aside as parliamentary candidates for the 2010/11 SVG general elections, because they have failed to operate the PAC as mandated by the SVG 1979 constitution. The PAC is very important, and when functioning properly, can help the economy move forward.

SVG Green Party asks the electorate to give the Green Party a mandate to competently manage SVG's economic, financial, social and environmental affairs, to provide new jobs and new revenue in a clean, green and sustainable economy driven by the export of new products.

Gonsalves and Straker have not done their work as PM and Deputy PM, yet they are seeking a third term of public office. This is unacceptable. Eustace has not done his work as leader of the opposition and chairman of the PAC. Eustace seeking to become PM is unacceptable too. Gonsalves, Straker and Eustace have been given a chance, but they have not done their duties.

For SVG to move forward positively, we need a government that will manage SVG's finances competently and within the rules of the SVG constitution. Both the ULP and NDP have shown they are unable and cannot be bothered to do this. The consequences are apparent throughout our society - high unemployment, poverty and high crime. The people deserve better.

Green is prosperity. Vote Green.

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