By Melanius Alphonse
Caribbean News Now associate editor
CASTRIES, St Lucia — A motion of no confidence in Saint Lucia’s prime minister and minister of finance, Allen Chastanet, brought by leader of the parliamentary opposition and leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Philip J Pierre, has been placed on the order paper for debate on Tuesday.
Emphasizing the many obstacles, Pierre stated that one should not be surprised if there are continuous efforts to frustrate the process by the prime minister.
“I am calling on all Saint Lucians to listen attentively to the arguments and urge their parliamentary representatives to vote in favour of the motion,” he said.
“Since we submitted the motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Allen Chastanet to the Clerk of Parliament in November last year, the prime minister and his public relations people have been thrown into a tail spin.
“First they tried to ridicule the motion, but this failed because motions of no confidence were also presented in St Kitts and Nevis, Guyana and England. It should also be noted that in the last Parliamentary term in Barbados, then leader of the opposition and current prime minister, Mia Mottley, had also presented a motion of no confidence in the Parliament.
“Having failed in their attempts to ridicule the motion, the prime minister and his public relations people devised a self-promotion and project dazzle and bluff plan to attempt to fool the people again.”
Pierre noted that “the prime minister suddenly gives his first New Year address in three years and makes pronouncements, which all of us know are not factual. Then the prime minister and his PR people suddenly start announcing the start of projects which were stalled for the last two and a half years, but with only designs and plans but no processes to ensure accountability and transparency.”monc
Previously Pierre asserted that “Parliamentarians who are already deciding to vote against the motion before the debate takes place are setting themselves up as collaborators with Prime Minister Chastanet’s callous and uncaring policies we will not predict the outcome. If at the end UWP parliamentarians decide to snub the people and support a prime minister who they do not hesitate to citizen in their own private circles, then the people of the country will have an opportunity to witness self-preservation over the interest of the nation.
“The opposition is calling on all House members, in particular, members on the government side, to place country above self, and support the vote of no confidence in the leadership of Allen Chastanet and that he resigns immediately as prime minister of Saint Lucia.”
Three out of the 11 elected government members of parliament will need to vote openly in parliament [not by secret ballot] in favour of such a motion [or cross over to the opposition side] in collaboration with the six opposition members, representing the magic number of nine for a motion of no confidence to succeed.
In the meantime, Caribbean News Now understands that there has been a co-ordinated effort behind the scenes, whereby “internal and external compatriots”, as one source explained, are “active on Cabinet and members of parliament to unseat Prime Minister Chastanet”.