By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO, Canada, (CNG Politics) – It is enacted by section 55 of the Constitution of Saint Lucia, Cap. 1.01 that the governor-general may at any time prorogue parliament. Governor-General, Emmanuel Neville Cenac, proclaimed that parliament shall be prorogued March 12, 2021, and that a session of parliament shall be held on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, for the dispatch of public business of the House of Assembly at 10: am and the meeting of the Senate at 10:30.
- Further reading: Extraordinary Gazette Friday 5th March, 2021
The prorogation of parliament
The proclamation was made in an extraordinary issue of the Saint Lucia Gazette volume 190, Issue 15, Friday, March 5, 2021.
The prorogation of parliament means the termination of a session until providing a fresh start for the next session that commences with the throne speech, budget address and estimates of expenditure.
A sitting of parliament on February 23, 2021, approved the extension of time to lay the estimates. More appropriately, Saint Lucians would have preferred a dissolution of parliament followed by general elections.
Last September, Caribbean News Global (CNG) disclosure that “stifled in a ‘State of Emergency or Totalitarian State ’ weaponized for political advantage – the parliament of Saint Lucia is scheduled to be ‘prorogued’ heading into general elections.”
The government of Saint Lucia was forced to retreat on many of their timelines for general elections. With little option remaining, time is of the essence as the government is closely monitored. Besides, the government is boxed-in a July 12, 2021, timeline, whereby, the government mandate expires, there is the possible use of the 90 days clause. Nevertheless, COVID-19 curfew, vaccine politics and a so-called state of emergency are factors for consideration.
And while Saint Lucians cannot continue to accept sermons from the religious right and the governance of the State, who cannot get their basics right, a new session of parliament is more of the same.
There is the GIGO concept: Garbage In, Garbage Out. The concept in mathematics and computer science speaks to the quality of output is determined by the quality of input.
A COVID-19 budget
A new session of parliament begins March 16, followed by a COVID-19 budget that the government has requested additional time to prepare. Expectantly, it is a difficult proposition amid COVID-19 and an election year. However, the expertise of the government is on par to do just that, [garbage in; garbage out] pushing renderings and commencing major infrastructure projects that are ill-defined.
The only purpose is public relations and marketing tricks attempting to influence, unjustly, an electorate that is at the lowest point of their economic and healthcare existence.
A COVID-19 budget is expected to present unfulfilled/unrealized projections, a shortfall in revenue, increased debt, GDP exceeding 102 percent – hitherto, coupled with an election year budget, the frills of bouncing back, building back better on pie in the sky promises expected to fill the silence of the pandemic and an electorate “building a better Saint Lucia” on election projects.
- Government of Jamaica proposes $830.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2021/22
- The Caribbean must build sound fiscal, monetary, financial institutions to boost growth
Meanwhile, COVID-19 and donated vaccines are weaponized for electioneering and COVID-19 laws are introduced, the people are looking for “Chin Chin” – “Empowerment Card” and “Five to Stay Alive”, the expected changes to a better life that was promised in 2016.
Assessments of economic management, healthcare, security and competences of leadership, leading into the future is also high on the agenda. Mistakes are not expected to be repeated, less, of course, it becomes a decision.
The daily dose of COVID-19 continues
“There are volumes of unanswered questions concerning COVID-19 data, the prevalence of the UK variant in Saint Lucia, reporting methods, the use/non-use of science including the ‘lack of medical gas (oxygen) and/or rationing’ at the Victoria ‘respiratory’ hospital,” said the leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) Philip J Pierre.
However, the tale of two Saint Lucia’s: COVID-19 lives and livelihoods continues.
Thursday, March 4, 2021,
- 11 new cases of COVID-19;
- 5 COVID-19 related deaths
Friday, March 5, 2021:
- 29 new cases of COVID-19 ;
- Total number of cases diagnosed 3843;
- Two COVID-19 related deaths;
- Total number of deaths to date 45.
Saturday, March 6, 2021:
- 23 new cases of COVID-19;
- Total number of cases diagnosed 3866;
- Total active cases to date 253;
- Two active cases in critical care at the respiratory hospital.
COVID-19 vaccine politics
The political campaign beat goes on with donated vaccines from the governments of Barbados and Dominica totalling 3,000 doses; and the arrival of 25,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, a gift from the Republic of India, on Monday, March 1, 2021.
“The war against COVID has begun,” prime minister Chastanet stupendously declared, March 5, 2021. This means he has been absent for a long time and the response is catastrophic.
Of late, and on the advice of public relations and marketing tricksters to humanise a colonialist that espouse “colonialism has a conscience” has been moving from COVID-19 vaccine dispensing locations around the island; and engaging on social media, instead of delivering a practical solution to stem economic hardship, catastrophic healthcare and a security crisis mesmerizing the people and country.
According to the ministry of health, the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive has commenced and is running smoothly.
“Phase 1A and 1B is on-going in various communities where high-risk frontline workers, people with non-communicable diseases NCDS and the elderly are getting vaccinated.
“March 5, 2021, a total of 2789 people received the COVID-19 vaccine. March 6, 2021, Saint Lucia has vaccinated a total of 4883 people.”
Moreover, the pronouncement by the government of Saint Lucia that AstraZeneca vaccines will be forthcoming form the following markets: COVAX Facility: 74,000 – AMSP CARICOM: 35,739 – the government of India: 185,100 – by February 2021, has not materialized.
This brings to question plans, timelines and procedures to vaccinate at minimum 65 percent of the Saint Lucian population.
However, in the face of health minister Mary Isaac, recent mea culpa, on “Saint Lucia may have to consider a permanent ban on alcohol,” she attempted to warranty that there are enough COVID-19 vaccines to go around.
“I know there is a bit of anxiety. I want to take this opportunity to assure every Saint Lucian that we have sufficient vaccines. We will continue to get vaccines,” Isaac said; oblivious of Bousquet’s Bulletin: Caribbean citizens lining-up for vaccines while nations wait-in-line for deliveries.
Meanwhile, India’s vaccine diplomacy is at hand, the Saint Lucia government announced on March 2 that a new senior management team and twenty-three consultants for the Millennium Heights Medical Complex (MHMC) will be on-boarded from April 2021.
“We (SLP) shall ensure that the running of OKEU is not privatized and remains under the control and management of the government and people of Saint Lucia,” Pierre advised.