(St. Lucia News Online) — Former government minister and host of MBC television’s talk show ‘Can I Help You’, Richard Frederick, will be a candidate in the next general election in Saint Lucia.
Frederick made the announcement via his talk show’s official Facebook page on Monday, July 20.
He will be vying for the Castries Central seat which he has represented in parliament before.
Frederick did not say if he will run as an independent candidate or if he will be contesting under a political party banner.
“Just want to CLARIFY again. This post DOES NOT imply endorsement by any party. However, I WILL CONTEST the Castries Central seat next general elections,” Frederick wrote.
The responses to his announcement on his page have been mainly positive with many indicating that the current Castries Central representative for the ruling United Workers Party (UWP), Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, will not stand a chance against Frederick if she decides to run again. Flood-Beaubrun is also the current minister with responsibility for external affairs.
“That’s your seat. No questions about that,” one man wrote.
“You would surely make a better person than the present one. I’m putting right where it should be. A few years ago you did this for the guys: painting of the CDC. From the time you not there, nothing has been done yet. Let’s watch the simple things before we go to the big things,” another wrote.
Frederick was expelled from the UWP in 2014 after he refused to work with Allen Chastanet — the current prime minister — who had secured the leadership of the party. Frederick did not contest the 2016 general election which the UWP won.
But this time around, there is no question about his plans to jump in the political ring to contest for a seat.
Though he has publicly expressed his support for any government once they are not led by Allen Chastanet, some persons responding to his announcement said he is probably better off going independent.
“Independent will certainly be a very good move; strategic at this time,” one person said.
And while Frederick has also been on the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) platform showing his support, the prominent lawyer made it clear his decision to run in the next election is not coming from the SLP.
“This is not from the Labour Party. Let’s stay away from making assumptions!” he said in response to a blogger who said SLP Political Leader Philip J. Pierre made “the right choice” for Castries Central.
“He is going to win,” said another. “SLP and UWP will lose the Central Castries seat.”
Frederick, who was raised in Micoud, won the March 2006 by-election for the Castries Central seat as an independent candidate. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Flood-Beaubrun who was a member of the SLP at the time.
He re-elected by Castries Central under a UWP banner in the December 2006 general election and appointed minister for housing, urban renewal and local government under the UWP administration led by Prime Minister John Compton.
Despite the UWP losing the 2011 general election, Frederick was re-elected to the Castries Central constituency. He opted out of the 2016 polls, won by the UWP.