Philip J. Pierre was on Wednesday afternoon sworn in as Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, promising to be prime minister not for some of the people, but for all of the people.
The statement drew applause from the audience gathered at Government House.
“The Saint Lucia Labour Party has won the general elections, however we now have to manage an inclusive, equitable and just society,” Pierre asserted after taking the oath of office.
He expressed the belief that Saint Lucia can be an Island where dignity of the human person is preserved and respected and citizens are treated equally, while being given the opportunity to grow and achieve their full potential.
At the same time, he also expressed the belief that this country can be one in which the less fortunate and vulnerable members of society are protected and assisted by the government to achieve a decent quality of life and human rights are guaranteed by the government to all citizens.
In addition, he highlighted the need for equal opportunity for all and the use of the resources of the state to benefit the majority of the people, since there can be no economy without people.
Pierre also spoke of all citizens being able to freely discuss the economic, political and social affairs of the country free from political victimisation and retribution.
“My brothers, this is the start of a new beginning for our country,” the Prime Minister declared.
Describing himself as ‘your servant leader’, Pierre promised to serve all citizens regardless of social class or station.
But he explained that the task ahead will not be easy.
Nevertheless, he expressed confidence that with his team of able and experienced men and women, they will deliver to the people.
“I ask for your patience in the coming weeks and months as we try to assess the state of the country’s finances and capacity to deliver as early as possible, the commitment made to the people of Saint Lucia,” the Prime Minister stated.
He explained that he would not act alone but seek the counsel of the wise.
“And if you stand firm with me, together we shall not fail,” Pierre told the gathering as he reaffirmed the pledge to put people first.
He said in the coming days, he will be announcing his cabinet of ministers to manage the country’s affairs.
At times appearing emotional as he thanked the people of Saint Lucia, residents of his Castries East Constituency, his family and several individuals who had stood by him during his ‘long and difficult journey’, Pierre recalled that he had sometimes been ridiculed as a stutterer.
“But only this child knew that with the help of God, patience, dedication and hard work, he would one day rise to be able to serve his people with love and humility,” the Prime Minister explained to applause.
He thanked God for carrying him thus far, and acknowledged that he will require divine guidance in the coming days and grace in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations for the people of Saint Lucia.