The ruling United Workers Party (UWP) is crying shame on the leader of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Philip J.Pierre, over the issue of a Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.
” It is clear that the Leader of the Opposition is not among the many who have committed themselves to putting our country first,” UWP General Secretary, Oswald Augustin has said.
In a statement Augustin said that his party considers it shameful that Opposition should wish to go to court over the issue of the election of a Deputy Speaker, when the Leader of the Opposition himself is on record as saying it was not in his party’s best interests at this time to nominate one of its members as a candidate for Deputy Speaker.
“The United Workers Party takes this opportunity to repeat itself on the matter: Parliament is a collective of the Government and Opposition Members. But it appears the Opposition has absolved itself of its own responsibilities, or consider themselves above the demands of our Constitution,” Augustin stated.
He said it was truly revealing that immediately following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a reduction in Value Added Tax so as to bring some relief to the people of this country, the reaction of the Leader of the Opposition centered on the issue of the Deputy Speaker.
The United Workers Party also regrets that the Castries East Rep. Philip J. Pierre on Tuesday chose to mislead attendant young law students on the election of a Deputy Speaker in the current circumstances, Augustin declared.
He noted that the students had already left the House when Castries Central MP Sarah Flood-Beaubrun took the floor.
According to the UWP General Secretary:
“The United Workers Party applauds her observation that: “A number of comments that the Honourable Member made were irresponsible and inaccurate and I am hoping that through the media my own comments will reach those bright law students ..”
He observed that the Castries Central MP, who is in private life a lawyer, cited Section 36 of the Constitution: “The criteria for being elected Deputy Speaker is that you are not a member of Cabinet or a parliamentary secretary. There are five people in this Honourable House who qualify today. We can have a Deputy Speaker today if the Opposition wishes to nominate one of its own Members.”
Augustin recalled that she also challenged the Opposition to accept a nomination of a Deputy Speaker from their ranks.
“The United Workers Party calls on the Government not to be distracted by the latest tactic of the Opposition and to continue its work in bringing relief and change to the people of this country,” Augustin noted.