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In a New Year’s address, Opposition leader Allen Chastanet on Sunday night urged Saint Lucians to unite against crime and violence amid a sharp spike in homicides.
Hours before the United Workers Party (UWP) leader’s address aired, police announced a probe into the Island’s two most recent fatal shootings.
Saint Lucia has so far recorded ten homicides in 2024.
Last year, there were 75.
Chastanet said last year’s crime spike was unprecedented, causing widespread fear and panic.
He asserted that Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre ‘pathetically’ sought to ‘justify a second year of seventy-five murders’ by claiming the rate declined in the second half of the year.
“We can all see the fallacy of this argument,” Chastanet declared.
Regarding the homicides this year, the former Prime Minister said one could only imagine what the death toll of young men would be by year-end.
He lamented that instead of implementing hard-hitting measures, Prime Minister Pierre continues to make ‘silly excuses’, including that he is not a police officer.
Chastanet also said Pierre has failed to understand the importance of his Cabinet being free of corruption or criminal activities.
“This trend is also apparent in many appointments of persons within the echelons of government who already have shady pasts and in some cases, have criminal convictions,” the Micoud South MP observed.
In addition, Chastanet accused Pierre of cowering in silence while a junior minister bullied anyone who chose to speak out against that minister’s unethical acts.
He said Pierre’s failure to set an example has weakened his government’s moral authority on crime.
Nevertheless, Chastanet emphasized the UWP’s unwavering commitment to working with the government to combat crime, understanding its devastating impact on people, communities, and the economy.
“Therefore, we urge all Saint Lucians to unite and stand together as one people in the fight against crime and violence in our country,” the opposition leader said.
He revealed that it was difficult to witness the destruction of the gains his former administration had made in laying a solid foundation to rebuild Saint Lucia.
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