Fixed election dates have received the backing of Human Rights Activist, Mary Francis, who has told the Times that the Prime Minister’s announcement of a June 6, 2016 poll took her by surprise.
“It is shocking to hear June 6, less than the traditional twenty-one days,” Francis said.
She observed that the twenty-one day period has been a tradition in the Caribbean.
She declared that the poll represents a watershed moment for Saint Lucians in terms of the economic, political and social development of this country.
Declaring that Saint Lucia is a society in crisis, the Attorney at Law asserted that the elections provide an opportunity for voters to make a “surgical strike” against the malaise confronting this country.
“We all know what that is,” Francis said, without going into detail.
Francis told the Times that what was very important is to restore Saint Lucia’s image in the international community as far as human rights are concerned.
The former executive member of the Saint Lucia Labour Party asserted that after four years in office, the labour government has failed to address the IMPACS issue and restore the integrity of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).
Francis said of Prime Minister Doctor Kenny Anthony:
“Look at the haste with which he announced June 6. Why wasn’t the IMPACS situation addressed with more urgency I don’t know.”
While acknowledging that it is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to call an election date, the Human Rights Activist believed that in view of sentiments expressed during talks on constitutional reform, there should be fixed election dates.
Francis urged Saint Lucians to be careful when making choices for the betterment of the country.
She said that a foremost consideration should be the image of Saint Lucia and the failure of the government to address the IMPACS issue.
“They were in opposition when it happened under the last regime and they said nothing,” Francis recalled.
She said people were being killed on the streets and the labour party which was in opposition refused to speak up.
“They knew it would have backfired on them,” Francis declared.
She said that when the labour party got into office, it did nothing up to now to restore the image of the police force.
The Attorney at Law told the Times that was a major concern of hers.