St Lucia’s conservative opposition take power in elections

St Lucia’s conservative United Workers’ Party (UWP) won a decisive victory in the country’s June 6 general election. The party, led by Allen Chastanet, defeated the ruling St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) by 11 seats to 6, effectively reversing the result of the last general election held in 2011. Voter turnout was put at 52.85%.

Mr Chastanet’s election is likely to introduce an alternative approach to politics at a regional and sub-regional level as he has in the past has taken a robust approach to a number of controversial regional issues including regional air transport, fighting crime, the economy and citizenship by investment programmes.

Although the former Prime Minister, Dr Kenny Anthony, was re-elected, he said when conceding defeat that he did not intend to continue as the leader of the opposition or as the political leader of the SLP.

Mr Chastanet’s party ran on a manifesto that included the provision of jobs, fighting crime, promoting alternative energy programmes, addressing the impact of the Citizenship by Investment programmes introduced by other members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, reducing taxation on travel and lifting restrictions on movement through open skies agreements. He is likely to have to take early decisions on his government’s position on the regional airline LIAT and whether to seek to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) St Lucia’s final court of appeal.

Mr Chastanet, who by background is a businessman and hotel owner and operator, served previously as Minister of Tourism. He promised….


 

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