NewsUWP Leader expected to appear in parliament Tuesday

St. Lucia News OnlineJuly 4, 202211485 min

Castries, Saint Lucia, Monday November 15, 2021:– Speculation is rife that UWP Leader Allen Chastanet will finally make an appearance in the House of Assembly when it meets tomorrow (Tuesday) – and according to his party’s grapevine, plans are well in place for him not to arrive alone, or quietly.

“Our Leader is back and we plan to bring him to the Parliament on Tuesday with a motorcade,” a UWP source says.

Unwilling to be named because of her employment in the Public Service, the happy UWP source told Saint Lucia News Online (SLNO): “Those responsible are taking care of police permission and we will come out in big numbers to celebrate our leader’s return.”

The UWP Leader and former Prime Minister, who’s been mainly in North America since he was elected on July 26 to represent the Micoud South constituency, has not yet taken the Oath of Office as MP, or as Leader of the Opposition.

To date, Choiseul-Saltibus MP Bradley Felix, the only other UWP MP, has been taking care of parliamentary affairs in the Lower House, with former Anse-La-Raye/Canaries MP Dominic Fedee taking care of opposition business in the Upper House (The Senate).

Chastanet has mainly kept a remote presence here by virtual means, hosting and participating in press conferences online and issuing statements from abroad through the UWP’s Secretariat.

Last week, he congratulated students returning to school and last weekend took the current government to task about its payment of Facility Fees for students island-wide.

Chastanet also criticized almost every delivery claimed by the administration as it observed its First 100 Days in Office over the weekend, including its handling of the COVID crisis it inherited from the UWP administration.

Indeed, with the health authorities confirming the current Fourth Wave started on July 25 and the continuing fallout from the controversial $7.3 million vaccine deal scheme that saw the island pay in cash for vaccines that were never available, many found the former PM’s COVID criticisms somewhat strange.

But all that will not matter to the UWP supporters who plan to accompany their leader to the House on Tuesday morning, when and where he is expected to be sworn-in twice by House Speaker Claudius Francis, before taking his seat as MP and Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition (comprising two members in the 17-seat assembly).

With the current Speaker having forbidden the erection of barricades and other restraining police barriers in the vicinity of the House, there are concerns about crowd control.

However, a senior police officer told SNO: “The COVID protocols governing Social Distancing and Mass Crowd gatherings are still in place, so there’s no need for anyone to panic.”

“Besides,” she added, “any motorcade will need police permission so that the sitting of the house cannot be disturbed or delayed.”

Tuesday’s fourth sitting of the House of Assembly since the July 26th General elections is scheduled to start at 10 am.

St. Lucia News Online

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