By Caribbean News Now contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia -- Leader of the Lucian People's Movement (LPM), Therold Prudent, has questioned the decision of Saint Lucia’s prime minister, Dr Kenny Anthony, to appoint Calixte George Jr. as his administrative attaché. This position is in addition to that of press secretary.
"At a time when Dr Anthony is pleading with the nation to understand the financial predicament we are in and facing questions about waste and inefficiency in government, coupled with persistent criticisms about his inability to create new jobs in the country, it may not have been a wise decision to appoint Mr George, a trained engineer by profession, as a political attaché in his office," Prudent said.
Prudent acknowledged the authority of a prime minister to select a team that he deems best qualified to help him carry out the responsibilities of governing the nation is a right that no one should question.
“However, the judgment that a prime minister exercises in the selection of these individuals, including his understanding of whether an appointment is a priority and whether it will contribute to the good of our nation, should be questioned by the citizens of this country,” he added.
Prudent went on to say that, while the LPM refuses to engage in what he referred to as the futile blame game regarding what party is most responsible for inflating successive governments with political appointees, it will never shy away from having a more substantive debate on whether appointments are warranted and add value to the efforts of government to deliver on its promises to the people of Saint Lucia.
"The LPM would have been very supportive of Dr Anthony had he demonstrated the foresight to make better use of Mr George's training and skills as an electrical and computer engineer by employing him within the ministry of public service, sustainable development, energy, science and technology,” Prudent said.
“Perhaps he could have even been given the responsibility of heading a special unit within that ministry specifically devoted to uncovering advances in geothermal and solar energy technologies that could lower the cost of powering government offices, private homes and businesses, playgrounds, and streets, thus revolutionizing an energy brand on the island, that would generate thousands of new and sustainable jobs,” he added.
According to Prudent, not only would this have signalled to young people that their government was serious about investing in their skills to advance the development of the country, but it could also have been a political appointment that Anthony would not have to justify in terms of it being of net value to the country.
“Here you have a young man who graduated from The University of the West Indies at St Augustine, Trinidad, and served as a past secretary of the Guilds of Students (Engineering Students Society); however, our prime minster, who professes to have a vision for the development of the country, neglected to embrace the mission statement of Mr George's alma mater, which is to produce engineers who are trained in supporting Caribbean business, industry and infrastructure and to help propel innovation in the region,” he said.
The LPM leader also lamented the inability of the Anthony administration to prioritize tackling the challenges in science and technology that will benefit the country in the near future.
“Good governance includes having the vision and ability to inspire your citizens to greatness,” Prudent concluded.