Opposition Leader warns of constitutional crisis in St. Lucia

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CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Jan 2, CMC – The leader of the main opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Phillip J. Pierre is warning of a constitutional crisis here following the non-appointment of a successor to Dame Pearlette Louisy, who demitted office on December 31, last year.
“…the constitutional crisis that the country finds itself in today is purely a reflection of the government’s incompetence and the government’s desire to prove that they are in charge and they can do whatever they want,’ he said.
Dame Pearlette, who was the island’s longest serving head of state, announced late last year that she was stepping down amid much speculation here that she was had been forced out of office by the Allen Chastanet administration after 20 years.
The front runners to replace here in the largely ceremonial post is former foreign affairs minister Neville Cenac, the brother of the late Winston Cenac, who served as prime minister for eight months before resigning in 1982.
Pierre, who has been critical at the manner in which Dame Pearlette was removed from office, told the St. Lucia Times on line publication that St. Lucia is facing a facing a constitutional crisis because there is also no acting governor general.
“The Deputy Governor General cannot perform the function of Governor General unless there is a Governor General,’ he said, noting also that the situation also means that Prime Minister Chastanet cannot travel overseas since he normally would have to appoint an acting prime minister and there’s no head of state to appoint such a person.
“That is what happens when governments act in haste,’ he told St Lucia Times, adding “the government did not pay attention to the process by which a new Governor General is appointed”
Pierre said that had the government done so, the transition from Dame Pearlette Louisy to a successor would have been different.
‘The government does not seem to want to follow convention – they did the same thing with the Deputy Speaker,’ he said, noting that the Chastanet-led administration, which came to power in June 2016, has no respect for the Parliament and the opposition.
Pierre told the publication that he had written to Prime Minister Chastanet on two occasions and he has not responded nor acknowledged receiving them.
Tuesday is a public holiday in St. Lucia.

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