Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has urged the audience at a ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) event to ensure they put Saint Lucians into office.
He prefaced his remarks by emphasising the importance of unity and strength.
“Together, you will advance. Together, you will achieve and together you will ensure that is only people who live in Saint Lucia continue to run Saint Lucia,” he declared.
The remarks drew applause from the audience.
The Grenada Prime Minister revealed that he could have lived in Canada but chose Grenada.
Mitchell said his mother was living in Canada and he has a brother living there.
“But I chose Grenada. So, I want all Saint Lucians to hear me. When the time come, make sure that is Saint Lucians who you putting into office,” he said to applause from the SLP delegates conference in Babonneau.
“Make sure that is people who like the Caribbean, who like Caribbean institutions, who are proud of our culture and our heritage because that is what we have – Saint Lucianess and that is what you need to embrace,” the leader of Grenada’s ruling National Democratic Congress declared.
Almost simultaneously on Sunday, Saint Lucia’s opposition United Workers Party (UWP) said the SLP was planning to use its parliamentary majority to ensure only a Saint Lucia-born individual could become Prime Minister of this country.
Public Relations Officer Lenard ‘Spider’ Montoute addressed the issue at a public meeting in Castries South East.
He said the only way the SLP could stop UWP leader Allen Chastanet from becoming Prime Minister, was by changing the constitution.
“So when Richard Frederick comes out and says that they are going to change the constitution to ensure that nobody who is not born in Saint Lucia cannot be Prime Minister, you have to take a stand against that,” Montoute asserted.
He said it was an attack to ensure Chastanet did not inevitably become the next PM.
But Montoute explained that many children of Saint Lucians were born overseas for various reasons, including medical situations.
“A child does not make the decision as to where he or she is born. But he makes a decision as to which country he or she is going to adopt and become a citizen of,” the former Gros Islet MP declared.
He said Allen Chastanet, born in Martinique for medical reasons, decided Saint Lucia is his country, having lived and grown up here.
“His heart is Saint Lucian,” Montoute noted, adding that Saint Lucia has no second-class citizens.
In an address to a UWP Town Hall meeting in Soufriere this September, Chastanet told supporters he sees himself as a Saint Lucian who is not better than anyone else.
“I don’t see myself as white, people. I see myself as a Saint Lucian and a Saint Lucian who is willing to do everything that anybody else is willing to do,” the former Prime Minister declared.
Chastanet, educated in Canada, was responding criticism that he is a foreigner who could not relate to Saint Lucians.
He once asserted that he was a ‘product of Canada’, prompting strident criticism from the SLP.