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Political Leader of the Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM), Therold Prudent, has accused the United Workers Party (UWP) of ‘grasping at straws’ and making wild promises because it is an election year.
Prudent was referring to the UWP’s recent announcement to get rid of Queen Elizabeth II and embracing the recommendation for Saint Lucia to become a republic nation.
The LPM leader told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview that his party was the first to suggest this and has always taken a position that supports the island becoming a republic.
“We have said that numerous times that we would like to see Saint Lucia become a full republic. I think in an election year, the UWP is grasping at straws, coming up with policies that they may not even understand, or probably haven’t thought it through,” he declared.
But Prudent said while the UWP has hinted that they plan to get this done if they are elected to office, they have not said how they plan on going about doing it.
“We will never accept the fact that any government without consultation with the people of Saint Lucia would arbitrarily go to Parliament and make this happen. There must be consultation with the people. We must have a consensus and if it requires a referendum then let it be,” he asserted.
In that case, he said it would require groups and individuals that are pro-republic to educate Saint Lucians on reasons why the island should become a republic as opposed to remaining under the Queen’s rule.
Prudent also pointed to another issue, which the UWP recently spoke about. And that is another recommendation made in the Constitutional Reform Committee Report, which is to implement a term limit for all future Prime Ministers and Member of Parliament MPs.
This is something that LPM has also supported on from the onset.
“When we were asking for two terms for sitting ministers and to hold politicians more accountable, I didn’t see the UWP agreeing so much to those recommendations.”
Prudent said the main reason for that is because parliamentarians saw it as a means of remaining in office for an extended period.
“When you have so many recycled candidates running for office, you ask yourself what is it can they do, if they were to be given the reins of power that they could not do when those same individuals were at the helm of power.”
The LPM leader noted that having the Queen as the leader brings no benefit to the island and suggested that the island should seek to get rid of her, especially since Britain itself is faced with a similar issue.
However, Prudent said he does not believe that this issue should be given such high priority, stating that he would rather prefer discussing ‘bread and butter’ issues, and look at ways of improving the local economy to create job opportunities and further develop Saint Lucia.