Saint Lucia’s ruling United Workers Party (UWP) has started the process of preparing for the next general elections, Deputy Chairman, Nancy Charles has disclosed.
“We gave started at the party level putting our house in order. We have started doing the basics that are necessary for your electioneering,” Charles told St Lucia Times.
She spoke as the Allen Chastanet administration prepared to observe its third year in office on Thursday.
Charles said the observances will include a public meeting on Sunday in Soufriere.
The UWP official expressed the view that the Allen Chastanet administration has succeeded in turning the local economy around.
“We recognise that even while we were in opposition, we did say to Saint Lucia that we would be inheriting a difficult situation and so from the party’s point of view we are very proud of the fact that the government has been able to turn things around,” Charles asserted.
“It took a little while for us to lay the foundation for us to build and fix what was there to be fixed, but we are very optimistic about the future,” the UWP official stated.
She declared that cumulatively, the government has achieved an average of eight percent growth and has turned the economy around.
“We have reduced unemployment from about 24 percent to now 15 percent; we have reduced in terms of our debt to GDP, so we are doing well,” Charles explained.
“We have tried as much as possible as a party to provide that backbone and that support to the government to let them know we are there for them. Our people on the ground – of course they are happy with the achievements and the strides we have made; but they have also called upon us to say ‘Listen, you need to do more’,” she said.
“So some of the projects we have been speaking about, we are hoping to begin construction this year so that our people can say that the government is making strides and we are making headway,” Charles stated.
She expressed the view that in its three years in office, the Allen Chastanet administration has done more than the previous Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government did during its four and a half years in power.
“In their four and a half years they were able to achieve minimal growth in the economy. We have achieved cumulatively eight percent growth. They were not able to reduce unemployment and we have been able to reduce unemployment,” Charles declared.
She asserted that the SLP had no plan or vision.
“There was no foreign direct investment from the last administration and we have been able to get foreign investment happening in this country and so I can tell you from a party’s point of view, we are very proud of this government,” Charles stated.