PRESS RELEASE:–Former St. Lucia Diplomat and head of St. Lucia’s Foreign Service, Ambassador Earl Stephen Huntley, has released a paper on constitutional reform in St. Lucia, entitled “Constitutional Reform in St. Lucia: Bridging the Divides in the Debate”. The paper is published on Huntley’s recently created online blog, The ORANGE BANNER.
The Orange Banner is also the title of an occasional column in the St. Lucia Voice Newspaper and the St. Lucia Times (an online news site).
According to Ambassador Huntley, the paper was written in response to the Parliamentary Debate in St. Lucia in August 2015 on the Report of the Constitution Reform Commission.
He says that the Parliamentary debate revealed wide differences between the wishes of the people of St. Lucia as revealed to the Commission, the Commission’s own recommendations and the views of the Parliamentarians. The paper therefore attempts to bridge these differences by presenting a new model of government for St. Lucia which takes into account all three perspectives.
The paper recommends a structure of government in which the Executive (the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers) is separate from the Legislature and is elected directly by the people; the Legislature is a unicameral body which is half the size of the present two chamber 28 member Parliament and consists of members who are solely legislators and simultaneously chairpersons of local government organs.
Ambassador Huntley stated that the paper is particularly relevant at this time given the current debate on the structure of the new Cabinet of Ministers created by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and calls for constitutional reform arsing out of that. The paper proposes a new method of selecting the Cabinet of Ministers whose size would be limited by the Constitution.
The 18 page paper was completed in February this year and was meant to be distributed through a local newspaper as a special publication in observance of St. Lucia’s 37th anniversary of independence but arrangements with the newspaper for this could not be concluded; and hence the decision to publish online.
The paper can now be read at: http://orangebannerblog.wordpress.com
Ambassador Huntley is also the author of a number of publications on political events in St. Lucia and several academic works on International Relations issues, in particular on the subject of regional integration