Outspoken Human Rights Attorney Mary Francis has blasted the St Lucia Labour Party over its planned street protests against the government’s policies.
She says it’s distracting from more serious issues that need to be addressed in the country.
Her comments come ahead of a planned SLP demonstration in Castries on Wednesday. The Party says the march is meant to express public concern over the decisions and policies of the current administration.
Ms. Francis believes that the calls for mass public demonstrations are an attempt by the Opposition to derail the government of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
“I’m not saying they haven’t got a right to protest and to voice their concerns, but the Prime Minister has already indicated he’s willing to listen to the concerns. So to me, that is just political opportunism trying to derail St Lucia from important issues, human rights issues, the whole question of unemployment, the whole question of the broken justice system; people denied justice and so forth. The health system, the education system has collapsed. There are so many important areas which they have to reflect on and rebuild in order to ensure that people enjoy their human rights to the fullest,” Francis said.
Ms. Francis said she was disappointed in the St Lucia Labour Party. She criticised opposition members as men in black suits at press conferences who are stuck in time and losing relevance.
She added that the Labour Party failed to come out in large numbers to talk about the people who lost their lives during Operation Restore Confidence.
“They were in opposition and they never condemned the loss of lives by the police. They never did anything when they were there until 2016 and now you have an administration who are actually building up the DPP’s office to do something about that then you have the distraction for the government to deal with presently. I think that is not right at all,” Francis said.
Ms. Francis said now is the time for the nation to join hands together to deal with issues such as IMPACS and to restore the integrity of the police force.
She said the concerns over the DSH project could have been addressed differently and not be used for political gain.
The St Lucia Labour Party said Wednesday’s march will begin from the Sab Playing Field (commonly called Vigie Playing Field) into the city centre to be followed by a rally on the Castries Market Steps.