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Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) Allen Chastanet has said that the decision made by the party’s General Council to have Richard Frederick expelled was sad but necessary given the urgency the party is faced with to strengthen and lead the people of Saint Lucia.
“We need a united party; a party of discipline and focused individuals that are hardworking. If you can’t comply with the rules of the party and you do anything to diminish the strength of the party, which will ultimately affect the people of St Lucia, we will not accept that,” he said.
In refuting reports that the decision is flawed, the political leader told the media that the UWP has been advised by lawyers on the matter.
Chastanet also reminded individuals that the decision to expel Fredrick was based on a recommendation made by the Disciplinary Committee of the party. That recommendation was then taken to the General Council, where a unanimous decision was made to have the Castries Central MP expelled from the UWP.
“Richard Frederick was invited to the meeting and he did not appear. If you look at the votes, 90 per cent of delegates were there who voted,” Chastanet stated.
The UWP leader also informed the media that Frederick can appeal the decision through the party’s trustees and then go back to vote at the National Convention.
“I would hope that if he believes that any injustice was done then he would use the process to prescribe within the party,” he further added.
Despite there is a clear division that could lead to further deterioration in the UWP, Chastanet said there is no evidence that indicates the party is weak. Asked whether the UWP’s decision to expel Fredrick is also a kiss good-bye to the Castries Central Constituency, the UWP leader said he also refuses to believe that could happen.
When questioned as to Castries North MP Stephenson King’s future with the party, Chastanet said the actions of the party are in control of each of its members.
“It is very sad that the Honourable Stephenson King as of late has not been coming to our meetings and has not been participating in our sessions. I hope that this is something that could be put behind us.”
Chastanet brushed aside criticisms that seem to suggest that he is responsible for the changes in the UWP.
He said: “If anyone which includes me wish to contravene the rules of the party, will be dealt with accordingly. We are taking our role as an opposition party very seriously,” he said.
The UWP leader stated boldly that if Saint Lucia is to hold elections tomorrow, the UWP stand a good chance of winning. He said people are fed up with Dr. Kenny Anthony and the Saint Lucia Labour Party’s (SLP) poor performance and alleged weak and inconsiderate policies.