Allen Chastanet was sworn in today as Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, declaring that his new government means business.
Chastanet said that was the reason why he did not declare today a national holiday.
The Prime Minister said his new government intends to hit the ground running from day one, today, June 7, 2016.
“This is a great day for Saint Lucia,” the new Prime Minister declared.
Chastanet spoke after taking the oaths of allegiance and office before an audience that included Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy, newly elected MPs of his United Workers Party (UWP) and others.
Chastanet’s wife and children were also among those in attendance.
The ceremony was held at Government House.
He congratulated all duly elected members of the new parliament of Saint Lucia and commiserated with those on both sides who were unsuccessful this time.
“The will of the people was to give the United Workers Party an opportunity to pursue policies and programmes aimed at improving the standard of living and the quality of life for all Saint Lucians,” the UWP leader told the audience.
He asserted that for that ambitious goal to be achieved, he requires the co-operation and full support of all Saint Lucians.
Chastanet said he wished to signal from the onset his desire to foster a far more co-operative and collaborative relationship with all interests in society, including the official opposition.
He observed that the general elections of 2016 are now all but over.
“It is to the future that we must look and work with a sense of national pride and duty” Chastanet declared.
He said it would never be the practice of the UWP to gloat.
He declared that the party was immensely grateful for the confidence the populace has reposed in it, but also mindful of the enormous job that lies ahead.
The Prime Minister acknowledged the high level of expectation that exists among the population for his new government, especially among those who voted for the winning party.
“The problems and challenges we highlighted in the campaign were real,” Chastanet noted, adding that they included 24 percent unemployment and over 40 percent joblessness among young people.
The new Prime Minister choked back tears as he thanked his wife and father for their support.
He spoke of the need to arrest the current state of disillusionment and hopelessness among the youth, while providing a more comfortable and dignified existence for seniors.