PoliticsUWP Reshuffles Leadership Six Months Ahead of Next Conference

St. Lucia News OnlineJanuary 16, 202219204 min

The Opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has reshuffled the top leadership of its Executive Committee by appointing a new Chairman and Deputy Chairwoman ahead of its next national conference.

The new Chairman is ex-Speaker of the House of Assembly and President of the Senate Andy Daniel, while his deputy is ex-Cabinet Minister, Senator Fortuna Belrose.

Daniel once contested the Dennery North seat for the UWP, while Belrose twice failed to unseat veteran Castries East MP and current Prime Minister, Philip J. Pierre. The new appointments followed the resignation of former Chairman Pinkley Francis earlier this year.
Several top posts remain vacant after the party lost nine of its eleven seats – it’s worse defeat since losing 16-1 to the Saint Lucia Labour Party in 1997.

There was a long period of indecision and uncertainty during the first 100 Days after the elections about the future intentions of Party Leader Allen Chastanet, who remained away from the first three sittings of parliament until he appeared on the fourth to take the oath of office.

Chastanet had submitted his resignation, which he said the party rejected. He, therefore, remains as Leader until the next party conference, when members will discuss the presentation of a report on why the party lost the July 26 poll so badly.

Meanwhile, since returning home after his long overseas sojourn, the UWP Political Leader has been engaged in a near media frenzy, issuing daily statements on everything from the new government’s First 100 Days in office to the recent withdrawal of the Customs Department’s case against Castries South MP Ernest Hilaire.

But there’s been not a word from Mr. Chastanet about his years of stewardship as prime minister, which left the state with the highest level of foreign debt and the highest debt to GDP ratio on the state’s economic scorecard. Nor has he explained the circumstances behind the $7.3 million COVID vaccines fiasco that saw the Treasury dole out upfront- millions of dollars for vaccines it never received.

The UWP has announced its next conference will be June 2022, when members will get a chance to elect new officers. Until then, the Political Leader and the Chairperson, and Deputy Chair will lead the party’s Executive Committee.

St. Lucia News Online

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