Monday, September 20, 2010

Former PM’s Jesus comments

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) said it “cannot defend” a statement by its founder and former prime minster, Sir James Mitchell, that he does not trust “even Jesus Christ” when it comes to elections.

Sir James made the comments at a NDP rally on September10, The Vincentian newspaper reported.

It said Sir James’s comments came as he called for international observers for the general elections, constitutionally due by March 2011.

“We want them here to go and see what is happening with the Supervisor of Elections. I know that she is an honourable lady, a distinguished lady and so on; but I don’t trust even Jesus Christ when there is elections, until I see the results,” The Vincentian quoted Sir James as saying.

“Jesus Christ is honourable and wonderful, but I am trying to exaggerate it to get you to the point. You have to make sure that the job is done, and I am only going to pass judgement to say that we have a wonderful Supervisor of Elections only when the election is over. I don’t care who saying she (is) nice and she (is) good. I will see when the results come home,” he said.

NDP president and Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace said such a statement was wrong.“I want people to understand my position on this matter. It was wrong to make such a statement,” Eustace told party supporters on Saturday.

“The New Democratic party cannot defend that statement. We cannot defend it. But Sir James himself recognises what he did and he called me the day after and he said, ‘I did something wrong’,” Eustace said. Eustace said he believed that Sir James, who retired from electoral politics in 2000, “would make his own statement shortly for the benefit of the public”.

“Because he himself was concerned enough, he called me the very next morning after the meeting. I was not at the meeting. But, I know that he himself is not happy about the statement … I just want to let people understand that the New Democratic Party cannot defend that statement and we will allow Sir James to come forward and say what he has to say to the public of St. Vincent,” Eustace said.

Sir James was prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines from 1984 to 2000 and has observed elections in several countries.