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(CMC) – Leader of the main opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) Philip J. Pierre has pointed to recent developments in Guyana where the government lost a no confidence vote in the national assembly – saying it is a lesson for prime ministers.
“What it shows is that governments – prime ministers must understand that winning elections does not mean they have the support of the majority of the people,” Pierre told reporters.
The SLP leader said he started the trend here, when in September, he announced to the world that he would file a no confidence motion against the governance of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
He recalled that many people thought the move was superfluous.
However, the Castries East Member of Parliament (MP) said he was doing his duty as leader of the parliamentary opposition, explaining that there was nothing personal in his no-confidence motion bid.
But Pierre observed that in terms of policy, he is convinced that Prime Minister Chastanet’s decisions are not in the best interests of this country.
According to Pierre, his no confidence move created a domino effect.
“Guyana followed; St Kitts – and I am sure many other opposition parties will follow the lead that we took in St Lucia,” he told journalists.
Against the backdrop of the success of the no confidence vote against the Guyana government, Pierre said it also means that prime ministers must not live in “glass houses”.
He asserted they cannot believe that because they are prime ministers they can be on their “high horses”, victimise and push people around or treat them with disgust.
“They must understand that they are prime ministers at the will of the people and they hold office because the majority of elected members voted for them,” Pierre stated.
“I guess it is a lesson to all prime ministers, those on their high horses, and those who believe that they can tell people ‘continue braying’; I hope they understand where the power ultimately lies.”
Pierre declared that he was “very excited” about the no confidence motion he has tabled against Prime Minister Chastanet whose ruling United Workers Party holds an 11-6 majority in parliament.
“I hope three ministers will use their conscience and support the motion,” Pierre said.
Admitting that he was not aware of the reasons why Guyana government MP Charrandass Persaud voted against the country’s coalition government of which he was part, Pierre noted that some politicians have a conscience.
The success of the no confidence motion in Guyana means that elections must be held in 90 days.
Persaud, who brought down the administration of President David Granger, has been labelled a traitor, but he declared that in Friday evening’s shock outcome, he voted with his conscience.
Guyana’s opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) said it was emboldened by the coalition’s poor showing in November’s midterm elections.
In regard to when the no confidence motion here will be debated in parliament, Pierre said he was awaiting word from the speaker of the House, who indicated that he was seeking legal advice.
“I am waiting for him and the result of his legal advice,” Pierre added.