St Lucia Labour Party ousts one-term Prime Minister Chastanet

Chastanet wins seat but losing government

Phillip J. Pierre

The main opposition St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has claimed victory in last Monday’s general elections as St Lucian voters stuffed their frustration into the ballot boxes and rejected the Allen Chastanet administration after only a one five-year term in office.

In addition, voters created history in the Caribbean by electing two independent candidates to the 17-member Parliament among them being the former prime minister Stephenson King, who quit the ruling United Workers Party (UWP) to contest the Castries North constituency, which he has been representing for nearly three decades as an independent.

SLP leader Phillip J. Pierre said that he was “elated” thanking also his supporters in Castries East who ensured that he won the seat for the sixth consecutive occasion, defeating Fortuna Belrose.

“Here we are we have won the government and I intend to be a government for the entire country. A government of inclusion, a government that will listen to people, a government of tolerance and we are hoping to take this country all the way from…the division and conflict it is in now”.

Preliminary results indicate that the SLP, which was trounced 11-6 by Chastanet’s UWP in the 2016 general election, could win as many as 12 seats, with Chastanet being among the three successful candidates.

Pierre said that the priority of his administration will be health, education and “particularly the young people”.

“The youth economy was the flag ship of our party and I can assure you …we have to get our young people back on stream to feel included.

“So it is exciting times, we know there are challenges, the country has over four billion dollars (One EC dollar-US$0.37 cents) worth of debts,” Pierre said, adding “most of all the country is divided, it is unsettled.

Allan Chastanet

“There is a bitter taste in the mouths of the people of the country, so we have to sort that out. So tonight I will go celebrate with my constituents. They mean everything to me, they stuck by me, they have been maligned, but they stuck by me.

“This time is my sixth victory, I haven’t known what I won by bit it is a very huge margin,” Pierre said, “thanking my opponents …the better man won”.

Pierre said that while he had not yet received any call from Prime Minister Chastanet, he felt vindicated by the victory.