UWP Accuses Pierre Of Preaching Unity While Promoting Division

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has called out Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre, accusing him of promoting political divisions in contradiction of his appeals for national unity, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl.

While welcoming Pierre’s unity appeal, UWP officials have declared that his words ring hollow in light of comments during a tour of Beryl’s damage in Soufriere.

UWP Public Relations Officer Lenard ‘Spider’ Montoute referred to a viral social media video shot during the PM’s tour in which Pierre reacted to the identification of someone as a ‘Flambeau’, an opposition supporter.

Montoute told a UWP round table discussion on Facebook that rather than dismissing the comment, Pierre gave it credence by saying if the man was a ‘Flambeau,’ he was a product of Canada.

When he was Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, UWP leader Allen Chastanet declared he was a product of Canada, having attended high school and university there.

Chastanet’s declaration triggered a backlash from the then-opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP).

The UWP’s Lenard Montoute told this week’s opposition round table discussion it was in poor taste for Prime Minister Pierre to bring up the issue, although people have claimed that the PM was joking.

Nevertheless, Montoute asserted it was the wrong time and place if that were the case.

“That is not what is expected of leader at a time like this, ” he noted.

He also asserted that the man’s political affiliation should not have been an issue.

Former Soufriere-Fond St Jacques MP Herod Stanislas agreed.

“After a natural disaster, it is incumbent upon the leaders of a country, particularly the Prime Minister of the day, to show statesmanship,” Stanislas said.

He commended Pierre and current Soufriere-Fond St Jacques MP Emma Hippolyte for their damage-assessment visit to the constituency.

Nevertheless, he described the PM’s ‘product of Canada’ remark as irresponsible, insensitive, and in poor taste, belittling a man who supports the opposition.

“He is using political rhetoric to divide and score cheap political points,” Stanislas observed.

For his part, Former Anse La Raye-Canaries MP Dominic Fedee said Pierre misused his office by allowing himself to be drawn into ‘street talk’.

Fedee expressed that in the circumstances, many leaders would have said they were there to support and assist people regardless of political affiliation.