The opposition Saint Lucia Labour (SLP) has criticised Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s recent ‘livelihood’ comments.
But Chastanet’s office says the SLP took his remarks out of context.
However, the SLP asserts that the PM said what he meant.
The opposition party quoted Chastanet as saying: ‘there’s no point in saving people if in fact their livelihoods are affected.’
The quote appeared in a post on the SLP’s official Facebook page.
And it followed the PM’s remarks this week when he appeared on the National Television Network (NTN).
Chastanet and other officials were updating the nation on the COVID-19 situation.
However, the SLP has taken issue with Allen Chastanet’s words and actions as Prime Minister.
It asserts that all have shown that he never really cared about the welfare of Saint Lucians.
The SLP asserted that no amount of spinning or mopping up by Nicole McDonald can change that fact.
The opposition described Mc Donald’s explanation as ‘ feeble ‘.
It expressed the view that it has only served to highlight the insensitivity and the callousness of Chastanet’s statements.
Nicole Mc Donald, the Senior Communications Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), had responded to the opposition criticism.
She spoke this week on Newsspin, aired by Real FM.
Mc Donald observed that a video featuring the PM’s statement was circulating on social media.
Mc Donald also said certain members of the opposition were circulating it.
She asserted that the PM’s statement was being taken completely out of of context.
“After an hour and a half interview with the CMO, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Police Commissioner and the P.S of Tourism, all the Saint Lucia Labour Party came up with today was a one-line statement from the Prime Minister,” Mc Donald stated.
“So the point that the Prime Minister sought to make was that there was no sense attempting to stop the spread of COVID, if it means in the process you deny people their means of making a living, their means of being able to feed themselves or feed their families,” she told Newsspin.
“We have to do both,” according to the OPM official.
But in its Facebook statement, the SLP declared that with life, there’s always the possibility of a livelihood.
“With no life, there’s no livelihood,” the SLP asserted.
Nevertheless, Mc Donald said ‘mischief-makers’ want to ‘hone in’ on the PM’s one line.
As a result, Mc Donald encouraged Saint Lucians to watch the entire interview.
She accused the opposition of being a little bit invisible in the fight against COVID-19.
Mc Donald observed that they constantly criticise everything the government tries to do.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party has recalled calling for more community testing.
The party says it has also called for second testing for tourists and income support programmes.
In addition, the SLP says it has urged social safety nets.
It said it has also encouraged more rigid and robust protocols, especially in light of the most recent COVID-19 spike.
Headline photo caption: Prime Minister Allen Chastanet (Stock image)