KINGSTOWN – The scheduled swearing-in of Ralph Gonsalves for a record fourth consecutive term as prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was delayed on Thursday pending the final tabulation of votes in this week’s general elections amid opposition cries of fraud.
Preliminary results released by the Electoral Office in Kingstown after Wednesday’s vote showed the ruling Unity Labor Party winning eight of the 15 seats in parliament, duplicating the outcome of the 2010 general election.
But the main opposition New Democratic Party has refused to concede defeat, citing data from its own sources that indicate the NDP won the contest in the Central Leeward constituency to secure eight parliamentary seats.
NDP leader Arnhim Eustace told reporters he had asked Governor General Frederick Ballantyne not to swear-in the 69-year-old Gonsalves for another term.
Eustace, 70, said that the NDP “would never accept the results of the elections.”
“As I mentioned before there are irregularities, there are ballot boxes that are not sealed both here and in North Leeward and we are not conceding, we are not accepting the results,” Eustace said in Central Leeward.
“We are standing firm,” he said. “Until we get a very clear picture, he (Gonsalves) should not be sworn-in today because the results of the elections are not final.”