Prime Minister Chastanet has disclosed that three ‘important considerations’ were factored into the decision to call elections on July 26, 2021.
Chastanet told the nation on Monday night that the first issue was that his administration was close to resolving the IMPACS matter after years of negotiations with the United States government.
“It was critical for me, as your Prime Minister, to resolve this critical and long-standing issue which has so negatively affected our police force and our entire country for so many
years,” he declared.
The PM also said that looking at the fallout in other Caribbean islands which held
elections during COVID-19, he was deeply concerned about a possible massive
outbreak which could overwhelm this country’s healthcare system.
As a result, he explained that he has been working for many months trying to source additional doses of the vaccine so a larger percentage of the population could be vaccinated before the elections.
“We continue to work with CARICOM to try to obtain the necessary quantity to protect
our people,” the PM disclosed.
He explained that the third factor impacting the election date was that he has been very concerned about the many disruptions school children have suffered over the past 18 months and only recently settled back into a normal school routine.
“As you all know, many schools are used as polling stations and the time to have them readied for an election, sanitized and reorganized thereafter as classrooms, would require a disruption of about a week. In all good conscience, I could not do that to them and wanted to ensure that classes were over before elections,” he told the nation on Monday night.
Chastanet said he recalled how upset parents, teachers and students were in 2016 when the election was called before school ended.
“These were the critical issues that I had to consider in determining an election
date,” he declared.
However, the PM said his party members have been ready for the election for some time.