The Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) has urged both the ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party and the parliamentary opposition, the United Workers Party, to avoid making the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) the ultimate legal body for the island without the express consent of the people of Saint Lucia.
Speaking on behalf of the LPM, the leader of the party, Therold Prudent, said, “Since Dr Anthony and his government are so adamant about taking the island to the CCJ, they should do the honourable thing of taking the question directly to the people of Saint Lucia, who should make the decision based on the original intent of the Saint Lucian constitution of 1979.”
The LPM, while fully agreeing with Dr. Anthony’s assessment that a special referendum may prove too costly for the island, rejects his proposal for remedying the situation by working out a convenient compromise between his government and the UWP in order to avoid a referendum.
According to the LPM leader, the issue of cost can be easily remedied by attaching the question of the CCJ to the ballot at the next general elections.
“Not only will this action guarantee that more Saint Lucians will participate in the next elections given the perceived legal implications of switching from the Privy Council to the CCJ, but it could also be an opportune moment for those who are in favour of the CCJ to alleviate the fears of thousands who are fearful that the court maybe be used as a political tool of representative governments (potentially, including our own) to settle difficult cases in their favour. “
Therefore, Prudent believes that Dr Anthony should abide by the intent of the constitution, which mandates that the question of the CCJ be decided by the direct participation of the people.