Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM) Leader, Therold Prudent, has called for curbs on election spending.
Prudent told the times that Saint Lucia would be well served if half of the money that is spent on election paraphernalia by both main political parties, is used to help the poor people of this country.
The LPM leader said that election spending is a source of concern for him.
He asserted that it should not only worry him but the entire population of Saint Lucia as well.
By Prudent’s estimate, millions of dollars are being poured into the current election campaign.
“You cannot say to us, even as a government, that you do not have the money to do this and that and repeatedly, election after election whenever a government is in power, it has this kind of money to spend,” he declared.
The LPM leader noted that the spending is not only on the part of the government but also on the part of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP).
Prudent, who will be contesting the Gros Islet seat, observed that there have been allegations against the UWP that in the Gros Islet constituency young people were being offered fifty dollars with a tee shirt to attend a political rally.
“This is pathetic,” he remarked.
Prudent noted that there is a great level of poverty in Saint Lucia.
He suggested that money used to fund election campaign could be used to better the lot of poor Saint Lucians.
“If you have worked and if your argument is based on issues, then you need absolutely no paraphernalia in order to spread your word,” Prudent said.
He noted that in the case of the LPM which is a small party, the amount of money being spent is nowhere near what is being spent by the UWP and the ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP).
The LPM leader told the Times that his party is forced to compete as best as it can in order to get recognition.
He called for a cap on campaign spending and the introduction of campaign finance laws to allow political organizations to declare where they are getting money from andwho are contributors to their campaign.
The LPM leader said there should also be a limit for election spending.
Prudent stated that in a country with no finance laws where politicians are not required to declare their finances, if the political process is corrupt then whatever party is elected would form a corrupt government.