The Philip J Pierre, Political Leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party, was on the same night quick off the blocks in a statesman like response to Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s address to the nation on Monday,5th July, at which he announced the date for the next general election, July 26, 2021.
In his response, Pierre welcomed the announcement of the election date but reminded the public of the numerous failings of the incumbent in the management of the Saint Lucian economy. He chided the government over the management of the country’s public debt: “they promised a reduction of the Debt to GDP by at least five percentage points. Instead, they added over $911 million to the debt stock, causing the Debt to GDP ratio to increase by over thirty-four percentage points over their five years.”
Pierre highlighted the government’s poor handling of the reconstruction of the St Jude hospital, which incidentally started under a UWP government in 2009, and today is still nowhere near completion. He reminded his audience of the ineptitude of the government by failing to undertake any construction work during its first three years in office, allowing staff and patients to languish in an unfit- for -purpose Geroge Odlum stadium.
Saint Lucians were, also, reminded of the government’s poor handling of the Covid-19 pandemic with the country having the worst record for infections and deaths within the OECS. In fact, the island’s poor record is worst than the total figures for the remaining countries within the OECS.
Pierre promised to present his Party’s proposal, which features a special emphasis on the development of a Youth Economy, to the public, soon.
In closing he promised inclusiveness in the management of the country and called for an election free of violence and that citizens live up to the ideals of the national anthem: “by pursuing justice, truth and charity.”
General elections will be on Monday 26th July ,2021. Meanwhile, rumours abound about resignations from the United Workers Party, following reported discontent among two party officials; Infrastructure Minister, Stephenson King; the Economic Minister, Guy Joseph and the Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet. We shall be reporting on this development as it unfolds.