Asserting that the opposition has done what it has to do, Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) leader, Philip J. Pierre has declared that it is now up to the government to take the next step in the process of constitutional reform.
Pierre made the remarks in a live telephone interview Monday with Journalist, Timothy Poleon, during Newsspin on Real FM.
He was responding to comments made on the same programme last week by Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet.
The opposition leader recalled that Chastanet had indicated on the programme that his administration currently does not have a two-thirds majority and was not able to successfully change the position of the Attorney General that was inherited.
Pierre noted that the Prime Minister had asserted that the government was seeking opposition support in the constitutional reform process and had called for maturity in order to facilitate continuous constitutional review on a bi-partisan basis.
However the SLP leader recalled that it was the administration of then Prime Minister, Doctor Kenny Anthony, in which he served, that approved the formation of a constitutional review committee headed by Justice Suzie D’Auvergne, now deceased.
Pierre observed that the committee held wide-ranging consultations which culminated in 2015 when a parliamentary resolution was passed, establishing a parliamentary committee to identify and agree on common amendments.
The SLP leader said the committee would comprise three government representatives selected by the Prime Minister; two from the opposition selected by the leader of the opposition; three civil society advisors appointed by the PM; two civil society advisors appointed by the opposition leader; two current or former Senators selected by the PM and one selected by the leader of the opposition.
Pierre noted that the committee was established in 2015.
He recalled that elections, which resulted in the SLP being voted out of office, took place the following year.
The SLP leader said in 2017 he participated in a panel discussion with Prime Minister Chastanet, where constitutional reform was discussed.
He stated that during the same year, he was written to requesting that he nominate two members to the parliamentary committee.
“In September I nominated my two members – Claudius Francis and Calixte George Jr,” Pierre explained.
He said he was informed that there had been no nominations from anyone else.
“The opposition continued on the resolution which said the next step was a parliamentary committee and the opposition nominated its members on that parliamentary committee. That’s all we can do,” he declared.