Vincentians line up outside a polling station today to cast their vote on general election day. (Picture by Nigel Browne)
THERE WAS AN AIR OF CALMNESS in St Vincent this morning as locals went to the polls to elect their fifth prime minister since Independence.
From the time the polls opened at 7 a.m. there was a steady stream of voters, who refused to be deterred by the heavy morning showers.
By mid-morning the number of people waiting in lines to cast their votes in and around the capital city, Kingstown, had not diminished and many emerged from their booths proudly showing their ink-stained index finger and identification card.
There was police and Defence Force personnel stationed on the outside of polling stations, but reports indicate voting has been incident-free.
A check with officials outside a number of the stations in East Kingstown revealed the steady stream of voters were there before the polls opened at 7 a.m. Polls close at 5 p.m.
A vendor in the Kingstown market remarked she had never seen so many people exercising their constitutional right.
“And I am 40 plus,” she said.
A sales assistant, who said she voted early this morning before reporting for work, commented on how quiet the country appeared.
“The atmosphere real quiet but I guess everybody done mek up them mind so there is no need to fight,” she said.
Unity Labour Party (ULP) leader Dr Ralph Gonsalves cast his vote at the C.W Prescod Primary School in the afternoon, while New Democratic Party head, Arnhim Eustace placed his ‘x’ in Sion Hill, the constituency of East Kingstown this morning.
Gonsalves is seeking his fourth consecutive term as prime minister, while Eustace is seeking his first full term as term as head of government. He was prime minister from October 2000, upon the retirement of Sir James Mitchell, until March 2001, when his party lost at the polls. (HLE)