Fri 26th Sep 2008

Money and influence cannot buy justice - Ralph Gonsalves must resign as Prime Minister of SVG

Prime Minister Gonsalves is not above the law. Money and influence cannot buy justice in any civilised society. Gonsalves must resign as Prime Minister of SVG. When the story of the alleged rape and sexual assault was made public, Gonsalves held a news conference and vehemently denied the charges of alleged rape and sexual assault against him. It is morally wrong for the ULP regime to shield Gonsalves from the pen of SVG's final Court of Appeal, the Privy Council in London, when they denied all charges as false and politically motivated.

Why is the ULP regime so afraid of the Privy Council on this serious criminal national issue when Gonsalves denied all the criminal charges? In a civilised society Gonsalves would have to resign. It is a heavy burden for Vincentians to carry the continuation of Gonsalves as Prime Minister, knowing that the legal process of the alleged rape and sexual assault has been short circuited by the ULP regime.

The implications of Ralph Gonsalves remaining in public office as PM are counter productive to SVG's sustainable development. The outside world would have a dismal view of us and see SVG as a banana republic, managed by persons of no integrity. The criminals would have no respect for persons in authority and the chronic crime situation will deepen. More seriously, Gonsalves and the ULP are setting a very bad example to the youth of SVG. As Prime Minister of a small state, he has more power than the President of the USA and the Prime Minister of the UK.

The socially conscious SVG Green Party is calling on Gonsalves to call a press conference and update the nation on this suspiciously abrupt end to the proceedings against him. The law firm of Senator Marks, a former member of Gonsalves' cabinet, led the proceedings to bring about this abrupt end. The court documents were witnessed by insurance executive Beresford Phillips, a known ULP supporter who has spoken publicly on the ULP political platforms. Isn't this political? If this is not political manoeuvring then Gonsalves' claim that the charges against him were politically trumped up is utterly hypocritical.

It must be said that justice in SVG is perceived to be only for the rich and influencial, not the poor. When the administration of justice can be so easily manoeuvred in favour of those with money and influence, can the average man have respect for our judicial system? History has shown that in countries such as Chile and Zimbabwe where leaders want to cling to power at all cost, the economy and the people are made to pay a heavy price, both socially and economically. The ULP should ensure that Gonsalves resigns immediately in the best interests of our beloved country.

A nation that cannot or will not enforce its laws is inviting abuse of all of its laws. There is a right way and a wrong way to treat this country's laws. If we treat it the wrong way there will be consequences. In SVG if you break the law you should be held accountable for your behaviour so that we can all have confidence in our laws and legal process.

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