Archbishop Robert Rivas has said that he would like to see a non-violent election in Saint Lucia.
Rivas spoke against the backdrop of recent concerns expressed by National Security Minister, Victor La Corbiniere about such a likelihood.
Questioned on the matter, Archbishop Robert Rivas said:
“There is always a possibility of violence especially when people have big crowds and people are throwing words at each other.”
Rivas observed that sometimes people consume alcohol and leaders lose hold of their “mobs.”
He expressed the view that in such a scenario, there could be clashes.
Nevertheless the head of the local Catholic Church asserted that one would want to think that in this day and age, elections in Saint Lucia would not only be free and fair, but violence free as well.
Rivas referred to the election code of conduct that was brokered by the Saint Lucia Christian Council.
He expressed the view that when the time comes, the Council would initiate a meeting of the various parties to sign the document.
Archbishop Robert Rivas asserted that it is good for political leaders to uphold the code of conduct.
“One of the reasons for that is that it shows that they want to be people of integrity going into an election and bring some respect to this role that is theirs,” he said.
Said Archbishop Rivas:
“Politicians need codes to guide them; we all need codes. We have the Ten Commandments, we have the law of love of Jesus to guide us.”
He declared that the church will do its best to ensure that it preaches non-violence not only now, but especially at election time.
Responding to a an observation that the code of conduct may be regarded as a mere piece of paper because it has no punitive element for transgressions, Rivas remarked that the code does not exist to inflict punishment, but is a guide to promote peace especially at election time.
“If there is a clear breach of the code, then the ones who have breached it have to give an account to the Christian Council that has been the one that brokered that relationship between the parties and got them to sign,” he declared.