The newly-appointed public relations officer (PRO) of the governing United Workers Party (UWP has said the alleged boycott of this morning’s (June 22) upper house sitting by opposition senators is putting the country at a “disadvantage”.
Commenting on Facebook, Kernisha Flavien said the “average person” knows that nothing can be done if you are not present and therefore “nothing can ever be expected from them”.
She said “this behaviour is putting the county at a disadvantage as it allows possible passage of bills without debate from all sides”.
Reports are that the House of Assembly was noticeably emptier this morning after three opposition senators of the main opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) – Joachim Henry, Guibion Ferdinand and Jerome Gideon – reportedly boycotted the proceedings – which still went on to advance the debate on the Appropriations Bill.
Today’s boycott follows the June 20 walk-out by opposition MPS during the second sitting of the House for the debate on the Appropriations Bill.
At the time, opposition members exited shortly after a presentation by SLP member for Laborie Alva Baptiste, and moments after Prime Minister Allen Chastanet rose to close the debate.
Leader of the Opposition Philip J. Pierre had told a press conference that the walk-out was necessary after a number of lines were crossed by the prime minister.
One of them, according to him, was the “first time” a government’s first budget debate was adjourned by 40 days.
Chastanet, in response to claims that he broke conventions at the House sitting by not allowing the opposition an opportunity to speak following the Laborie member’s presentation, said that when given the chance, no one chose to speak and because of this he closed the debate.
Chastanet accused members of the SLP of both adhering and abandoning conventions when it suits them.