PM accused of attack on religious freedom

Prime Minister, Doctor Kenny Anthony, has been accused of attacking religious freedom in what the opposition has pointed out is a change in the date for nomination of candidates for the June 6 elections.

United Workers Party (UWP) leader, Allen Chastanet, called attention  to the change today at an emergency news conference.

He discussed writs published in two local newspapers by the Electoral Commission.

Chastanet noted that an amendment published yesterday changed the nomination day from Friday, May 27, to Saturday May 28, 2016.

Castries South East MP, Guy Joseph, a Seventh Day Adventist, accused the Prime Minister of unprecedented disrespect for persons of religious faith.

Joseph, who was at today’s new conference, said as a practicing Adventist he takes the matter personally.

He asserted that when a Prime Minister of a country cannot have regard for the freedom of people to worship the God they choose in the manner that their conscience allows, then the country is in serious trouble.

The Castries South East MP declared that Doctor Kenny Anthony is a dictator who has on previous occasions disrespected people of religious faith.

Joseph observed that both he and his opponent, Joachim Henry, are of the Adventist faith.

He wondered whether Henry was consulted.

“I want to know whether Doctor Anthony told him that after Sabbath he should come down to nomination,” Joseph said.

The former Minister of Communications, Works, Transport and Public Utilities disclosed that he had spoken to some of his Pastors.

He said they have expressed that the new development is unprecedented and are conducting research to determine what their reaction will be.

The Castries South East MP said that Seventh Day Adventists are not the only Sabbath keepers in this country.

By his estimate, more than 25,000 persons keep the Sabbath.

Nevertheless, Joseph declared that a rejection of one religion is a rejection of all Christian faiths.

“The concern for me is not whether I can go and get nominated or not, the issue is the bigger picture, that the Prime Minister of this country does not regard God and the religious faith of people of this country,” he stated.

The former Minister recalled that the Prime Minister had vowed to do anything to ensure that he (Joseph) did not sit in the parliament of Saint Lucia.

Joseph questioned whether the change in the nomination date to Saturday was a deliberate ploy to test where he stands, and to determine whether he will be nominated.

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