By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia, (CNG Politics) – The government of Saint Lucia continues to disrespect and fail the people, the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) said in a statement Monday, February 1: meantime, prime minister Allen Chastanet was “violating COVID-19 protocols, engaging in campaign-style activity in Choiseul, Sunday, January 31, 2021.”
“On January 31, the latest 10-day COVID-19 protocols were set to expire. Citizens awaited an “update to the nation” but instead were shocked by images of the prime minister campaigning in Choiseul in violation of COVID-19 protocols,” said an SLP release Monday.
According to a press release from the office of the prime minister (OPM), dated January 31, 2021, that gave the impression the United Workers Party (UWP) is working on a Sunday, in the interest of governance, subtitle: the government decisions which still stand are as follows, “prohibition of all social gatherings” … ” in public and private settings, individuals are to limit their contact to their immediate households. NO allowance is given for mass gatherings, social events (of any kind), or loud music permits.”
And, whilst citizens are being patrolled/fined/dehumanized by untrained ‘COVID Wardens’ for ostensibly breaking COVID-19 protocols, the prime minister continues to set a poor example, demonstrating his belief that he does not have to follow rules, set by his administration, at the expense of taxpayers.
And, never-mind, the political excuse that it is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) making the decisions, hardly anyone belives such, in a country where the prime minister is the surveyor of all. And in this COVID-19 so-called state of emergency “powers” mirrors that of a tin-pot dictator.
Moreover, in the absence of the live “ update to the nation”, the January 31 press release from the OPM informed anxious Saint Lucians that the expiring COVID-19 protocols would be extended for an additional three days, to February 3, 2021.
“On the same day the country recorded its highest number of cases, 216 along with two deaths and the expiring of the 10-day COVID-19 protocols – the disdain of the prime minister for the people was very evident. This, at a time when our health care professionals are overwhelmed, our citizens are frightened and Saint Lucians need hope,” the SLP explained.
“In the face of the acute health and economic emergency gripping the country, the government remains dismissive of the much needed seven-point rescue plan proposed by the leader of the opposition, Philip J. Pierre to mitigate the COVID-19 crisis”, the SLP release added. “This plan offers confidence and hope and a science-based opportunity to push back on the current COVID-19 wave swamping the country. We once again call on the government to act swiftly on the following proposals:
- Expand Testing and Tracing;
- Expand Treatment Capacity;
- Rethink Travel and Tourism Measures;
- Revise the Partial Shutdown;
- Protect our Education Sector;
- Quickly Implement a Vaccination Programme;
- Implement an Economic and Social Relief Programme.
“The government needs to act and to act responsibly; our lives depend on it,” the SLP advised. “In the meantime, we continue to ask citizens to wear their masks; practice physical distancing, and wash or sanitize hands regularly. If you have symptoms, self-quarantine, get tested and remember to be our brother’s keeper.”
Saint Lucia is in an election year. According to the constitution, parliament shall dissolve on July 11, 2021, and election held on or before October 11, 2021.
Contrary to the advisors of the UWP government – Saint Lucia is not at War and unquestionably not a kingdom. We live in a constitutional democracy. As such, no proclamation can be summoned to extend general elections beyond October 11, 2021.