Opposition leader Allen Chastanet has accused the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government of a lack of consultation on significant matters after the Suppression of Escalated Crime (Police Powers) Bill went to Parliament on Thursday.
The Micoud South MP disclosed that the government gave the opposition just a few hours to review the measure.
“What happened to all the consultation that the SLP promised you?” He stated.
And he declared that the SLP’s lack of consultation on critical matters was a growing trend.
The former Prime Minister said the Suppression of Escalated Crime (Police Powers) Bill was ‘littered with concerning clauses.’
And he warned that, left unchecked, the clauses would affect personal and civil liberties.
The bill provides the police with expanded powers to respond to areas where crime has escalated.
Its creation recently followed a deadly gun violence spike in Vieux Fort.
During the debate on the new bill, Chastanet told the House that the government had access to other mechanisms, namely a state of emergency for which the constitution requires transparency and accountability.
But he observed that ultimately, the Minister of National Security is responsible for all the actions in the escalated crime bill.
Headline photo: Stock image.
Has Chastanet forgotten that the government has declared an oath to serve the constitution and not the opposition’s ludicrous assertions? A 15 to 2 win at the polls gives this coalition government almost absolute power to govern this country based on the constitution. If Chastanet had governed St. Lucia better he wouldn’t have faced such humiliating and ignominious defeat at the last elections. He would undoubtedly still have some credibility. All he does now is engaged in childish accusations, innuendos, and conjectures. He should first try to understand the language of the constitution and build a cogent and coherent argument. There is enough ambiguity in the language of the constitution to leave it open to several interpretations but it must make sense.
Chastanet’s interpretations and arguments are usually sophomoric and disjointed. For example, he is calling for a broad state of emergency rather than the targeted Suppression of Escalated Crime Bill. A state of emergency would place the entire country under siege whereas the current bill is designed to stop an anarchic and bitter gang war in a given locality.
The deliberate spewing of falsehoods by the leader of the opposition isn’t meant to win any battle of ideas. Instead, its goal is to prevent the actual battle of ideas from being fought. How can the leader of the opposition be so shallow and baseless in his arguments? It’s a rhetorical question, however, his popularity in the UWP rests solely on demagoguery. His authoritarian streak has become more prominent lately.
Chastanet seems to have forgotten what he said when Labor was in opposition. He said slp had lost their voice and anything they say was of no significant value. So why he has to be consulted now?
This is the same person that said in the Parliament the opposition have lost their right to talk when they lost the 2016 election when he was Prime Minister?