Opposition leader, Philip J. Pierre, has asserted that the current administration’s first year in office has been a year of wasted opportunities.
He expressed the view that the current administration should have built on the foundation set by its predecessor.
Pierre spoke as the ruling United Workers Party (UWP) held a church service today to mark its first anniversary in office.
He explained that the UWP government had tried to dismantle and destroy virtually everything that the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) left.
The SLP leader asserted that when his party left office in June last year, the economy was showing signs of improvement.
According to Pierre all the indicators for 2016 showed clearly that this country was on a positive trajectory.
He asserted that there were many programmes that the UWP administration could have continued, including the airport, the Gros Islet highway, the Soufriere Square and St Jude hospital.
Pierre said most importantly, the UWP administration stopped projects that dealt with people.
“The government stopped the NICE project and at that time causing thousands of people to be out of jobs,” he recalled.
He spoke of the state of playing fields and schools, declaring that the UWP’s year in office has been a period of lost opportunities.
Pierre also accused the UWP of creating a culture of fear because of its tendency to victimise people and stop any ‘meaningful’ dissent.
“You saw what happened to the National Trust which caused the closure of the Derek Walcott house – all these things are indications that the government has lost a golden chance and to make it worse, the government has been very vindictive in its approach,” the SLP leader stated.
He brushed aside suggestions that the opposition had not given the new government an opportunity to settle down.
Pierre recalled that the labour party’s own supporters had accused the party of being too quiet, since the SLP had taken the position at the beginning of the UWP’s term in office that the new administration should be given proper time to run the country.
However Pierre said the UWP has instead concentrated on attacking the opposition and people who are deemed to be labour party supporters, instead of running the affairs of the country.
“You saw the dissatisfaction that culminated in the march – arguably one of the largest marches in the country’s history on the 17th of May,” he observed.
“We think that the government must retrace its steps and the government must stop its vindictive ways and understand that there is always going to be opposition,” Pierre stated.
He said that the government should treat the opposition differently, since the people have shown that they are dissatisfied with the current administration’s stewardship during its first year in office.