Some persons in the Micoud South constituency are complaining about the absence of their elected MP, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, in the community.
That’s the word from Chastanet’s opponent in the last general elections, Guibion Ferdinand.
“At the moment there are a few persons raising this issue, particularly in the Desruisseaux area, ” Ferdinand said during an interview with the Times.
The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) Senator disclosed that Chastanet’s availability on Wednesdays, when MPs are expected to visit their constituencies, has become a talking point.
He asserted that there are concerns about the constituency office being open and accessible.
“There are some growing concerns at the moment, but I don’t think it is something that that has become overwhelmingly serious because it is still early days,” he explained.
Ferdinand said it is known that the Prime Minister has been travelling extensively.
However he said that the matter of Chastanet’s absence in the constituency has been raised.
“The discussion is going on in the constituency,” the SLP candidate observed.
But Ferdinand said he did not want to read too much into the situation.
He recalled that even prior to becoming Prime Minister, Chastanet’s availability was an election campaign issue with persons raising questions about the matter, knowing that he did not live in the constituency and was contending to become Prime Minister.
Ferdinand said now that Chastanet has become Prime Minister, the concern is even more serious.
“I think it is safe to say that people are expressing concern and are very anxious about his availability,” the SLP official told the Times.
Asked whether he would say that Chastanet was neglecting the constituency, Ferdinand said:
“I think it would be too soon to say that because after all it has just been about two months since the elections; however it is being felt that his presence is not as prevalent as one would expect, given the fact that he is the district representative.”
He told the Times that if the pattern continues, given the amount of time that has elapsed and if constituents continue to raise the matter of Chastanet’s absence, he will be speaking out on the matter and taking a strong position.
“At the moment I just want to be reasonable,” Ferdinand declared.
He recalled that Chastanet had been absent for some major activities in Micoud South, notably some graduation exercises where he (Ferdinand) was present and excuses were being made for the absence of the MP.
Fardinand noted that people were grumbling about Chastanet’s failure to attend.