Former Saint Lucia Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, believes it is farcical when people suggest that he has abandoned the people of his Micoud South constituency due to his absence from three consecutive sittings of parliament.
The former Prime Minister, who is currently on vacation overseas, explained during a virtual news conference on Thursday that he had over 250 vacation days when he left office.
“The fact that I am not going to be compensated for that time is irrelevant. I gladly gave up those days of vacation while in office, particularly because of what is going on with COVID,” Chastanet told reporters.
The former PM also referred to walkouts from parliament by then opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) MPs while his administration was in office.
“I have certainly not made any political statements that I am boycotting parliament in any way unlike other persons who walked out of parliament,” he asserted.
According to the former Prime Minister, the SLP MPs were guilty of avoiding their responsibilities to the public.
“I have need for some rest which I have gotten,” Chastanet explained, adding that he has had time to spend with his family and avoid burnout.
He declared that he takes his representation of the people of Micoud South very seriously and has a good relationship with his constituents.
“The fact that I was re-elected in my constituency should be testimony to the relationship,” Chastanet declared.
The Micoud South MP stated his intention to continue representing the people of his constituency as long as they want him and to continue to be the leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) as long as the party supports him.
“I am very committed to Saint Lucia, my constituency, and I am making no political statements with my absence. I have written to the speaker of the house and the parliament to indicate that I would be absent, so from a constitutional perspective this idea that I am in jeopardy of being evicted, please stop !”
Chastanet asserted that the constitution and the standing orders are very clear on the matter.
“Until the constitution and standing orders remain as they are, I am not in breach of anything, and I want to remind everyone, in my mind, it is much worse to walk out of parliament while a debate was taking place,” he noted.
He explained that he has been in touch and is aware of what is taking place in Saint Lucia.
In addition, he disclosed that the UWP would remain active in a responsible way.
“This is a very delicate period, and what we don’t need is the kind of irresponsible behaviour the SLP had while in opposition,” he observed.