The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has reiterated its commitment to the safety and security of all citizens after veteran politician Peter Josie’s recent controversial remarks, which drew condemnation from the Saint Lucia Labour Party Youth Organisation (SLPYO).
“I would try to mobilise Vieux-Fort, and no member of the Labour Party would ever visit Vieux-Fort. Every time I hear a young person from Vieux-Fort kill another, I wish somebody, if not me, could mobilise them so that they don’t kill each other, but I would tell them where the shooting should be,” Josie said on Wednesday.
While not mentioning the veteran politician by name, a UWP statement Friday said: “We recognize that certain statements made on our platform, though be it through a guest appearance, may have been misconstrued as inciting violence. We deeply regret any misunderstanding, distress or concern that may have been caused.”
The complete statement from the UWP Public Relations Officer’s Desk appears below:
The United Workers Party (UWP) reiterates its unwavering commitment to providing safety and security for all citizens, and we unequivocally denounce fear, hatred, and violence in any form. We recognize that certain statements made on our platform, though be it through a guest appearance, may have been misconstrued as inciting violence. We deeply regret any misunderstanding, distress or concern that may have been caused.
It is essential for us to clarify that these kinds of statements do not align with our core ideology, and we are committed to upholding a peaceful and inclusive political discourse.
At the same time, we cannot ignore the double standards and hypocrisy exhibited by the SLP in their recent statements.
While we are taking this opportunity to address the concerns raised, we find it necessary to point out the SLP’s own history of engaging in threats and utterances of violence towards members and supporters of the UWP and the general public. We believe it is our duty to remind the Youth Arm of SLP of some of the instances that warrant their attention:
- The current Communications Officer in the Department of Infrastructure, openly, on social media, threatened to kill a man as a result of a dispute between them. This goes against the principles of a peaceful democracy.
- The current Women’s Officer of the SLP Women’s Arm, Ms. Cornelia Jacob, called on the public to put BOMBS under the seats of certain politicians in the Parliament; an unlawful and outrageous statement.
- The speaker of the House of Assembly, the Honourable Claudius Francis said he would use a Bazooka to stamp out his opponent. Apart from being inflammatory, this language contributes to a hostile political environment.
- With no regard for the law, Minister of Government, the Honourable Joachim Henry walked into a church and threatened his political opponent.
- Talk show host and supporter Yardie called on supporters to beat and make an example of a non-supporter who shared her opinion on social media.
- Minister of Government, the Honourable Richard Fredrick, on his talk show, endorsed the statement made by Yardi to beat and make examples of people who do not support the Labour Party, further contributing to a hostile political environment.
- Prime Minister Phillip J. Pierre encouraged his supporters to go to UWP supporters and goad them, shouting in their faces, “You Lose, you lose”.
- Prime Minister Phillip J. Pierre, thus far, has failed to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by the Acting Commissioner of Police which were made by 6 women police officers, an alleged pattern of behaviour inconsistent with the promotion of safety and security.
- Utterances by Mr. Ernest Hilaire that “we will use any means necessary” in the fight for victory at the next general election are inflammatory and suggestive.
- Richard Fredrick caught on video, widely circulated, assaulting Security Officers.
- Former Prime Minister Kenny D. Anthony and present representative for Vieux Fort South angrily and shamelessly shouted from the political platform, “We will fight you in the streets. There will be no peace in Vieux Fort South”.
The Youth Arm of the SLP should address these matters and publicly condemn any form of violence or threatening behaviour exhibited by their members or supporters.
We urge the Youth Arm of the SLP to educate themselves about the history of their Party, including instances of threats of violence made against the people by members and hacks of SLP instead of hiding behind a transparent shield of hypocrisy.
The UWP is committed to fostering an atmosphere of openness, tolerance, and constructive dialogue. We emphasize that our intention is not to engage in a tit-for-tat exchange but rather to promote transparency and accountability within the political sphere. The promotion of violence by any party is unacceptable and undermines the democratic values we all hold dear.