Political leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) Allen Chastanet has debunked claims made by former Prime Minister Stephenson King which suggest that the selection process of candidates is “unconstitutional.”
Chastanet told HTS News Force in a recent interview, “We are abiding by the rules of the party moving forward.”
He said it is written in the party’s by-laws that candidates selection process must be conducted by the constituency branch to chose a contender, even if the candidate is a sitting Member of Parliament (MP).
However, King believes that sitting MPs who prove themselves and continue to serve their constituencies should not be put through any run-off.
The former UWP leader has also called for this rule to be revisited or “thrown out of the window,” dubbing it unconstitutional.
“If you are not happy with a law or policy in your party there is a process for making the change. But you don’t just willing nilly by-pass it and don’t make that change because that is unconstitutional,” Chastanet said in response to King’s statement.
He continued: “We are a democratic party and we have a democratic process and ultimately it’s the members of a constituency to make that decision.”
There have been some controversy surrounding this issue, specifically as it relates to the Gros Islet and the Castries Central seats.
Some members believe that former UWP Minister Lenard ‘Spider’ Montoute and ousted UWP member Richard Frederick should be the candidates to contest their seats again. Other say that a run-off should determine who contest those seats under the UWP.
Chastanet made it clear that Frederick will not be eligible to contest the run-off for Castries Central since he is no longer a member of the party.