Castries South East MP, Guy Joseph, has dismissed claims that recent comments at a United Workers Party, UWP, political rally in Micoud, represented disrespect and an attempt to make gender an issue in politics.
In what was construed as a reference to former government Minister, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, who last month declared her candidacy for the leadership of the UWP, Joseph had told the Micoud rally that persons should “take the line.”
“ I thought the comment was self-explanatory,” the Castries South East MP told a news conference today.
“When if you go anywhere in Saint Lucia where there is a queue to be followed you follow the queue, and I am not saying that in politics people necessarily follow a queue. I was making the comment on the basis of the circumstances that have developed in the UWP over the last three years since Mr. Chastanet became the political leader,” Joseph declared.
He recalled that he had highlighted the UWP’s history of taking persons who were not internally involved in the party to put them at the helm of the political group, with the result that such individuals had left the organization.
Joseph said he had mentioned Doctor Morella Joseph, Doctor Vaughan Lewis and Doctor Claudius Preville in that regard.
“Where are all these people in terms of the UWP?” he said.
“ I was going on a pattern or a trend of behaviour where people who have not invested sufficient time and effort into an organization just come and try to run the organization and there is no sweat, no skin in the game so at the end of the day they can easily r turn and walk away and feel no way about it, whereas people who have invested time, effort and energy into something will do all they can to preserve it,” Joseph declared.
He said his comments were misconstrued as being disrespectful and gender biased, but recalled that he had mentioned two men and a woman in his statement
“Anybody who wants to be Prime Minister must not be Prime Minister based not on gender but based on ability and commitment to this country,” Joseph told the news conference.
He noted that some people are of the view that is time for a woman to head the government, and he had no problem with a female Prime Minister.
However Joseph made it clear that such a person must prove their worth and their ability, and then they would have the same support he would give to any man.
He disclosed that he was going to vie for one of the Deputy leadership positions in the UWP, but decided to throw his support behind Doctor Gale Rigobert and Ezechiel Joseph.
Joseph said the party was working as a time to rescue Saint Lucia and he did not believe this was the time to change the UWP leadership.
He explained that he was confident of winning one of the two Deputy Leadership positions at the UWP convention later this month, but declared that he was demonstrating by example, his position on not changing the leadership.