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“The St Lucia Labour Party’s slogan was: Better Days Are Coming”
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“The St Lucia Labour Party’s slogan was: Better Days Are Coming”

St Lucia’s parliament has seen an influx of new members this month following general elections late last year. Commonwealth Correspondent Genitta Pascal, 20, looks back at the winners and losers following the electoral campaign.

The Parliament of Saint Lucia met for the first time this year on 5th January, when members of the Lower House of Assembly and 10 members of the Upper House of Assembly took their oaths as members of parliament.

In the Upper House, only two members on the opposition side took the oath. Prominent Attorney at Law Peter Foster is now the Speaker of the House of Assembly, while Claudius Francis, host of popular radio show ‘Straight Up’, is the newly minted President of the Senate. These appointments, along with the selection of independent Senators Dr Stephen King and hotelier Berthia Parle to the Upper House were made official at the opening session.

Preceding this first seating of the House of Saint Lucia, the 2011 general elections and the events leading up to it proved to be a very memorable and interesting time in the history of Saint Lucian politics.

On Sunday 7th November 2011, Honourable Stephenson King, then Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, announced the date which many citizens eagerly awaited: Monday 28th November or “redemption day” as many referred to it. Nomination day was set for the 17th of November. A total of 52 candidates registered to contest the general elections.

Five political parties were vying to constitute Saint Lucia’s government; the ruling United Workers Party led by Stephenson King, the main opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party led by Dr Kenny D Anthony, the Lucian People’s Movement led by Therold Prudent, the Lucia Greens led by Andre De Caires and the National Development Movement led by Ausbert D’Auvergene. The latter had been the Minister of Economic Affairs, Economic Planning, Investment and National Development when he previously held membership in the U.W.P.

There were major debates during the election period and speculation forced one cabinet minister into resignation. (In September, a Wikileaks related scandal regarding the withdrawal of the diplomatic and personal visas of a cabinet minister by the US State Department was a major cause for concern.)

Then, in the heat of the relentless campaigning, tragedy stuck. A bus load of passengers perished in an accident in Morne Sion, Choiseul Saint Lucia, temporarily disrupting political activities. One wondered at this time if the U.W.P could have won without the Father of the nation – Sir John Melvin Compton.

On the evening of November 28th however, the Saint Lucia Labour Party emerged victorious. It won 11 out the 17 seats whilst the remaining six went to the U.W.P. Its popular slogan was: “Better Days Are Coming”, and for the SLP supporters better days were here.

That is not to say that the drama is over. Now that the government ministers are sworn in, pockets of discontent still exist. Some believe that some members, such as the likes of Dr Desmond Long, should have been given ministerial positions.

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About me:

“Born in Dominica, I was diagnosed in 1996 with leukemia and subsequently received a bone marrow transplant in Dominica and chemotherapy in Trinidad. I then took up residence in Saint Lucia in July 1999.

“In spite of my medical challenge, I have been academically successful and I’m now touring the world of work. My future ambition is to become a human resource manager. I also intend to assist underprivileged and idle persons.”

More here: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/list-of-contributorscorrespondents/

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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