Premier Andrew Fahie - who is no stranger to having his physical safety threatened while holding the highest elected office in the territory - has denounced the attacks that recently injured St Vincent Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
While on his way back to parliament last Thursday, Dr Gonsalves was hit in the head with a rock during the protest of his government’s proposed ‘mandatory vaccination’ policy.
“The violence that was displayed against Prime Minister Gonsalves was shocking and reprehensible. It has no place in a democratic society. This COVID-19 era is a time for unity and for working together. It is a time for being supportive of each other. There is never a good or a right time for violence – never. We can have our differences without resulting to measures of this level,” Premier Fahie
said following the attack.
made those comments against the backdrop that his government supports criticism of his administration and freedom of speech, as long as it is done respectfully and lawfully.
At the beginning of his tenure as the leader of government business after 2019 general Elections, Fahie
faced criticism of his own for using public funds to hire personal bodyguards.
At the time, Fahie
said he received three credible threats to “assassinate the Premier”.
He had further described the matter as a sensitive national security issue and said the advice to procure bodyguards came from local police.
And in a message directed to persons he described as the ‘three entities’ behind the threat, Fahie
said: “I will not be intimidated by you. You will not frighten me.”
He further said his bodyguards have been advised to use lethal force against any would-be attackers.
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) later assumed full responsibility for Premier Fahie
’s personal security and replaced the private security firm that the Fahie
administration had contracted around the start of his tenure as Premier.