Ralph Gonsalves

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The Honourable
Ralph Everard Gonsalves
MP
Ralph Gonsalves.jpg
Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Incumbent
Assumed office
28 March 2001
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Charles Antrobus
Monica Dacon (acting)
Frederick Ballantyne
Deputy Girlyn Miguel
Preceded by Arnhim Eustace
Leader of the Unity Labour Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
6 December 1998
Preceded by Vincent Beache
Member of Parliament
for North Central Windward
Incumbent
Assumed office
1994
Personal details
Born (1946-08-08) 8 August 1946 (age 68)
Colonarie, Saint Vincent, British Windward Islands
Political party Unity Labour Party
Spouse(s) Eloise Harris
Religion Roman Catholicism

Ralph Everard Gonsalves (born 8 August 1946) is the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and leader of the Unity Labour Party (ULP).[1]

He became Prime Minister after his party won a majority government in the 2001 general election. He is the first Prime Minister from the newly constructed ULP, following a merger of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Labour Party and the Movement for National Unity.[2]

Gonsalves has been Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of North Central Windward since 1994. In 1994, upon the formation of the Unity Labour Party he became deputy leader, and became leader of the party in 1998.[2]

Gonsalves' ULP won another majority government in 2005 general election, winning 12 seats. On 13 December 2010, Gonsalves' ULP was re-elected, showing a decrease in the popular vote and winning 8 seats.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Gonsalves was born in Colonarie, Saint Vincent, British Windward Islands to Theresa (née Francis) and Alban Gonsalves.[1]

He attended Colonarie Roman Catholic School, and later the St Vincent Grammar School. Gonsalves then enrolled at the University of the West Indies, where he completed a bachelor's degree in economics. He later returned there to earn a master's degree in government, which he completed in 1971. In 1974 he completed a PhD in government at the University of Manchester. Gonsalves was called to the degree of utter barrister at Gray’s Inn in London in 1981.[1]

Political career[edit]

Gonsalves became involved in politics at university, as president of the University of West Indies' Guild of Undergraduates and Debating Society. In 1968, he led a student protest of the deportation of historian and intellectual Walter Rodney by the Jamaican government.[citation needed]

In 1994, Gonsalves became the deputy leader of the ULP. After the resignation of Vincent Beache, Gonsalves became leader of the party in 1998.[2] Gonsalves later led the ULP to win the 2001 general election, becoming Prime Minister. His ULP was re-elected in the 2005 general election. In the 2010 general election, Gonsalves and the ULP were narrowly re-elected with 51.11% of the popular vote.[3]

In 2009 Gonsalves and the ULP led a referendum campaign[4] in favour of constitutional reform that would have abolished the country's constitutional monarchy, replacing Elizabeth II[5] with a non-executive president. The referendum was defeated, with 55.64% of voters rejecting the changes.[6]

Outside politics[edit]

Gonsalves practices law before the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.[1] He has written and published on a range of matters including the Caribbean, Africa, trade unionism, comparative political economy, and developmental issues generally.

Personal life[edit]

Gonsavles is married to Eloise Harris. He has three sons, Camillo, Adam and Storm, and two daughters, Isis and Soleil.[1] He fathered another child out of wedlock and the mother lived for the first year of the child's life in Canada until she was deported recently from Canada for being undocumented. While in Canada the mother and baby were financially supported by the Prime Minister.[citation needed]

Allegations of sexual misconduct[edit]

In February 2008, a policewoman raised allegations that earlier that year she had been sexually assaulted by Gonsalves, who denied the allegations, characterising them as "political manipulation". The Director of Public Prosecutions did not prosecute, saying "the claim was determined to be groundless and lacked medical or genetic evidence."[7][8] This decision was later upheld by a high court judge.[9]

In May 2008 the Toronto Star reported human rights lawyer Margaret Parsons alleged that Gonsalves assaulted her and attempted to have sex with her five years earlier. He has denied the accusations.[8]

Publications[edit]

Books

  • Diary of a Prime Minister: Ten days among Benedictine Monks
  • The Making of 'the Comrade': The Political Journey of Ralph Gonsalves
  • The spectre of imperialism: the case of the Caribbean (University of the West Indies; 128 pages, 1976)
  • The non-capitalist path of development: Africa and the Caribbean (One Caribbean Publishers; 1981)
  • History and the future: a Caribbean perspective (169 pages, 1994)
  • Notes on some basic ideas in Marxism-Leninism (University of the West Indies; 56 pages)

Pamphlets

  • The Rodney affair and its aftermath (University of the West Indies; 21 pages, 1975)
  • The development and class character of the bourgeois state: the case of St. Vincent (University of the West Indies; 15 pages, 1976)
  • Controls and influences on the civil service and statutory bodies in the Commonwealth Caribbean: a preliminary discussion (University of the West Indies; 67 pages, 1977)
  • The development of the labour movement in St. Vincent (37 pages, 1977)
  • Who killed sugar in St. Vincent? (United Liberation Movement; 21 pages, 1977)
  • On the political economy of Barbados (One Caribbean Publishers; 49 pages, 1981)
  • The trade union movement in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Movement for National Unity; 64 pages, 1983)
  • Ebenezer Joshua: his ideology and style (Movement for National Unity; 39 pages, 1984)
  • (editor) The trial of George McIntosh (Caribbean Diaspora Press; 80 pages, 1985)
  • Authority in the police force: its uses and abuses (Movement for National Unity; 45 pages, 1986)
  • Banana in trouble: its present and future (Movement for National Unity; 22 pages, 1989)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Profile, caribbeanelections.com; accessed 1 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Profile, caribbeanelections.com; accessed 1 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b Profile, caribbean360.com; accessed 1 September 2014.
  4. ^ Profile, caribbean360.com; accessed 1 September 2014.
  5. ^ Profile, pdba.georgetown.edu; accessed 1 September 2014.
  6. ^ Profile, antillean.org, 26 November 2009; accessed 1 September 2014.
  7. ^ Profile, jamaicaobserver.com; accessed 1 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b Profile, thestar.com; accessed 1 September 2014.
  9. ^ Profile, caribbean360.com; accessed 1 September 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by
Arnhim Eustace
Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
2001–present
Incumbent