When Dr. Gale Rigobert made her debut address at Parliament as the opposition leader on Tuesday she did not only come under scrutiny by parliamentarians on the other side.
Interestingly, one of her party colleagues saw it necessary to publicly offer her advice during the parliamentary proceedings.
Speaking at Tuesday morning’s sitting, Castries Central representative and United Workers Party member, Richard Frederick urged the Micoud North representative to put the people first as she continues her stint as opposition leader.
Referring to her as a junior politician who is “extremely new” to such matters, Frederick told Rigobert that the “longevity of her stint as the leader of the opposition would be directly contingent upon her ability to withhold the recalcitrance and to totally submit.” These traits, he said, have already been manifested by her and that “any slight deviation” from that will definitely shorten her stay.
“…I wish to remind you that St. Lucians should come first and not these abratious infiltrates by whom you may be surrounded and whose sole burning desire is to lay hand on state assets,” he stated.
“May you receive divine guidance in the interest of your beloved country and always remember, you shall submit to no man but God,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rigobert during her opening address to the House of Assembly, thanked all who were instrumental in first getting her elected as parliamentary representative and subsequently as leader of the opposition.
“One does not come to hold a position such as this because of one’s own intrinsic strength or wisdom. It is in fact the combination of multiple inputs from family, friends, teachers and even opponents,” she said.
“This journey has been punctuated with highs and lows and have resulted with the personification of this girl from the Eastern Village of Micoud. The people of Micoud North have afforded me the distinguished opportunity to represent them in this Honorable house to serve them, their children and their grandchildren. I am honoured to be of service to the people and to ensure that their life chances are significantly enhanced,” she said.
She extended special thanks to her immediate predecessor Stephenson King, member for Castries north.
“I wish to thank you for the foundation you have laid. My task though not easy by any definition is somehow less daunting because of what you have done for the United Workers Party and for the people of Saint Lucia. My heartfelt thanks to you,” she said.
Dr. Rigobert was elected opposition leader effective February 1, 2014, after her party colleagues voted out Stephenson King last month.
King has since indicated that despite this, he is a proud member of the UWP and will continue to provide all the representation he possibly can to his constituents.