Former Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has called on the people of Saint Lucia to empower the voices of the two opposition members in parliament by regular indications of their support.
He expressed that there are people now in government who have the capacity based on their 15-2 majority to change any law to suit themselves. “We’re in trouble,” the former PM stated.
Chastanet spoke against the backdrop of last week’s scenes outside the House, where a crowd of vocal opposition United Workers Party (UWP) supporters converged to greet him as he made his first appearance after missing three consecutive sittings. Supporters of the ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) were also present.
Chastanet told Flambeau Forum last week that what happened outside the parliament was important in view of the outcome of the last elections..
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The UWP’s 11- 6 majority shrank to two after the poll- Allen Chastanet (Micoud South) and Bradley Felix (Choiseul-Saltibus).
But Chastanet asserted that most of the voting population either did not vote for the SLP or did not vote during the July 26, 2021, general elections.
As a result, he said that ultimately the people’s parliament, the voices of the people who either voted for the UWP or did not vote, would have to constrain the labour administration since the two opposition MPs would not be able to do so in the House of Assembly.
He said they would articulate the people’s opinions, although he doubted the government would listen.
“People need to participate more than ever before in the politics of this country and we need to make the people’s parliament relevant. And that relevance is by them showing up. That relevance is in terms of supporting the talk shows, social media and if in fact we have to sign petitions,” the UWP leader asserted.
“Because COVID doesn’t give us the ability to have a public meeting or to have a public march,” he explained.
“So we have to find other ways of really showing this government that the voices matter and the things we are saying in the house matter so that they now become much more accountable,” Chastanet declared.