PM Says State Of Emergency Will Not Hinder Elections

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Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet has stressed that the extension of Saint Lucia’s state-of-emergency to October 16, will not hinder the nation’s upcoming general election.

During a recent sitting of Parliament, the House of Assembly approved a five-month extension of the state-of-emergency, beginning May 17 and running into the final quarter of the year.

With elections constitutionally due in October, the Prime Minister maintained that the state-of-emergency will not impede processes for this national exercise.

He said, however that he looks forward to the national exercise being conducted with proper COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place.

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“How can a state of emergency stop the general election?” Prime Minister Chastanet said.

“St. Kitts had a state-of-emergency, did it affect their general election? When Jamaica had a state-of-emergency, did it affect their election? Trinidad held elections during a state-of-emergency, did it affect their election process? The answer is no—it does not impede the ability to have an election.

“One of the critical decisions that will guide the decision when we will have elections is when we believe that we can have an election in the safest way possible. But I have said repeatedly that we will not, in any way, go contrary to the Constitution of Saint Lucia.”

According to the Constitution of Saint Lucia the state-of-emergency may be revoked during the five-month period, at the discretion of the Governor General that could allow for a general election.

Government also intends to liaise with the Opposition on COVID-19 protocols that will govern the national event.

Prime Minister Chastanet continued: “It is certainly government’s intention to make sure that we work with members on the opposite side, arbitrary independents to ensure that we are clear on what the protocols will be and that both sides will fulfil their obligations and commitments in adhering to them.”

Hon. Allen Chastanet addressed the House on May 4.

Headline photo: Prime Minister Allen Chastanet addresses parliament (File image)

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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