An entrepreneur and former teacher has announced his intention to contest the Anse La Raye/Canaries seat at the upcoming general election slated for June 6, 2016, as an independent candidate.
Kensley Charlemagne, who contested the 2006 and 2011 elections was unsuccessful at both bids, but said this time around, even if he doesn’t win, he wants his message to impact voters.
Charlemagne who was born and raised in Anse La Raye/Canaries, but now resides in Gros Islet said that contesting elections has never been just about the development of Anse La Raye/Canaries.
“It has been about affecting a diabolical system that has only worked to our detriment,” he told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview on Tuesday.
Charlemagne said though he has been ignored by the mass media because he is not controversial and though there has been an attempt at blockage and an unjustifiably doubling of the candidate’s fee, he wants Saint Lucians to know that there is another alternative.
“This two-party system has failed us and will continue to fail us and it is in their hands (the people’s) to affect the balance of power. The plea is that where ever there is a third option, that they vote the third option. If there is not a third option, rather than not voting, i advise a protest vote,” he remarked.
Charlemagne argues that democracy is about participation, stating that silence and inaction will get this country nowhere. He said some people have said they are not voting and they are encouraging others not to vote.
“I understand the disenfranchisement and the voter apathy. More of the same is not change. Don’t just identify the problem, be part of the solution. It is for this reason I have offered myself up for the past two elections,” he added.
Charlemagne also said even if the candidate fee was $1,000,000, that would not have deterred him from participating in this year’s election. “I would find a way. I am not about political expedience.”
The independent candidate said he has listened to the messages from his two opponents: Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) candidate, John Victorin, and United Workers Party (UWP) candidate, Dominic Fedee, but would rather do things differently, because he is not into making promises he cant keep.
“I personally do not believe in promises. So when I go out in the constituency, I do not make promises. I figure the business of the people must be handled from bottom up. I believe in groupings such as development committees, non-governmental organisations to be able to put out a plan for the constituency.”
He said Victorin is more community-oriented, while Fedee is like an “imposition on the electorate.”
Charlemagne currently runs an arts and entertainment business called Ponm Damou Kreations and said he does not plan on joining any political party because he does not believe in partisan politics.