Press Release:- The United Workers Party notes with concern and disappointment the proclamation dated 14th October by the Governor General, of the revocation of the State of Emergency SI No 27 of 2021.
In light of the revocation by the Governor General, the Government has proceeded to rely solely on the Covid -19 Control and Prevention Act to prohibit the assembly of two or more persons in a public place and to confined ‘a person to their place of residence’, in the interest of public health.
Under the Constitution, Saint Lucians are entitled to certain rights and freedoms and the two freedoms that are the subject of discussion are s.11 freedom of assembly
and s.12 freedom of movement. The Constitution is also very clear that certain rights and freedoms can be derogated in the interest of defense, public safety or public order.
Under s.17 the Governor General may declare a State of Emergency once he is satisfied a public emergency has arisen as a result of infectious disease, such as the Corona virus as declared by the World Health Organization. It is at the point of a declaration by the Governor General that he is satisfied that a public emergency has arisen that there may be derogation to the rights and freedoms contained in the Constitution.
This Labor Party administration continues to put politics before the people of Saint Lucia and refuses to follow the Constitution, the supreme law of the land.
The current orders SI no. 163 of 2021 and SI no. 164 of 2021), are lacking in legal authority and are ultra vires the Constitution of Saint Lucia. The Covid-19 Prevention and Control Act is lesser law.
Any regulations made under the Covid-19 Prevention and Control Act that seek to override or derogate rights or freedoms enshrined in the Constitution will be ultra vires the Constitution unless there has been a declaration by the Governor General that he is satisfied that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the occurrence of an infectious disease.
The United Workers Party is committed to helping the fight against Covid-19 and continues to encourage all Saint Lucians to wear a mask, social distance, sanitize hands as often as possible and get vaccinated.
As was the case with the former Administration, methods to limit movement and control the spread of Covid-19 must always be done within the appropriate legal framework of our country.
We call on the Prime Minister to immediately reinstate the State of Emergency as the current protocols restricting people’s movement and freedom of assembly are illegal and ultra vires the Constitution.
A failure to do will force the United Workers Party to take action in the interest of safeguarding our democracy and preserving Law and Order in Saint Lucia.
Headline photo: Police traffic check