Former Member of Parliament (MP) for Micoud North Jeannine Compton-Antoine has expressed disgust with the political climate in Saint Lucia and constant attacks among politicians.
The daughter of former Prime Minister Sir John Compton told Current Affairs Programme host Clinton Reynolds on Tuesday evening that unless this changes, Saint Lucia will be robbed of real progress.
Compton-Antoine said personal attacks against politicians have taken precedence over the many important issues affecting citizens, remarking that this should never be the case.
While admitting that partisan politics has been around for many generations, both in Saint Lucia and countries around the world, the former MP said it has taken the worst turn here in the past few years.
Compton-Antoine recalled her father having mature and decent conversations with politicians who were not in support of his party, explaining that those days are long gone.
“We shouldn’t be enemies in politics. We can have differences of opinion. You can oppose something, but be constructive about it, not destructive,” she said.
Compton-Antoine who plans to contest the Micoud North seat at the next general elections as an independent candidate, said politicians sometimes oppose an issue without any proper reason.
She believes also that partisan politics is even more evident in Parliament, something she is not in support of, stating that the House should be used to debate critical issues and legislation.
“If a legislation is flawed you are supposed to comment on the legislation,” she asserted.
The former MP also pointed out that members of the opposition should play a more active role in taking part in the decision making process by introducing legislation, something she thinks is lacking.
“One of the issues with that is a lack of resources. But one thing I believe too is a lot of MPs do not understand their role. There is no training for MPs. You come in and you are given two books,” she said.
But more importantly, Compton-Antoine agrees that there should a budgetary allocation for each sitting MP, to empower him or her to implement projects that will directly benefit their constituents.
Compton-Antoine noted that there is a dire need for local government elections, which will allow for greater citizen participation in matters pertaining to their communities.
She also spoke about the need for greater accountability and transparency. Mention was also made about Saint Lucia’s economic performance being affected by the global economic issues and fewer grant aids.
The former MP also reiterated that she is running again for office because she was asked by people of Micoud North and is prepared to provide proper representation.
Most callers on the programme commended her for the previous stance she took as an MP, and views her as a genuine person who would serve well again in Parliament.
Compton-Antoine represented the Micoud North constituency in the House of Assembly from 2007 to 2011. She won the seat for the United Workers Party (UWP) in a 2007 by-election.
She resigned from the UWP in 2011 and continued to serve as an Independent MP. She lost the seat in the 2011 general election to Dr. Gale Rigobert, who secured 42.23 percent of the votes, while she got 33.88 percent.