KINGSTON, St. Vincent, Tues. Dec. 8, 2015: With elections now two days away in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, incumbent Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of the United Labor Party has found himself denying claims of a Swiss bank account.
Gonsalves, who from poll data seems set to win a fourth term, is being accused of having millions of US dollars in a Swiss account bank account in a document being circulated on social media.
iIn a statement issued on Sunday, Gonsalves said he has instructed the island’s Attorney General Judith Jones Morgan to contact the United States government immediately under the mutual legal assistance treaty to investigate what he said is a fraudulent bank document with domiciled an address in Brooklyn, New York. Gonsalves says the document is a monumental lie.
This comes as a writer to Caribbean News Now questioned Gonsalves’ sexual behavior alleging that many women who claim they have been sexually attacked by the prime minister.
Election is set for December 9th in the country and opposition New Democratic Party leader Arnhim Eustace has told voters “this is the moment” as he held a major rally Saturday night in a third time hope of winning displeased voters and taking office again.
The GDP in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is 1.174 billion; growth has been a negative two percent according to latest data; the unemployment rate is over 18 percent and the poverty rate is over 30 percent.
Others concerns reportedly include crime and issues such as health, education, roads and housing.
However, notwithstanding the reported comparative popularity of Gonsalves ahead of the last elections on December 13, 2010, his Unity Labour Party (ULP) achieved only a narrow eight to seven seat victory in the 15-seat parliament.
The House of Assembly has 21 members, 15 members elected for a five-year term in single seat constituencies and 6 appointed senators. There are about 101 thousand registered voters on the island.
The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS/EOM) will be observing the election.
The Mission is led by Ambassador Jacinth Henry-Martin, Chief of Staff to OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, and is made up of 12 observers from 11 OAS member countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Ecuador, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States.
This will be the fifth time an OAS team has observed elections in St Vincent and the Grenadines.