Political Analyst, Peter Wickham, asserting that Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has a reputation for being a ‘pretty decent person’, says ‘decency’ so far characterises the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) administration.
“The idea of decency is what comes to mind when we think of how his administration could be characterised thus far,” the Director of the Caribbean Political Research Company, Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES), said Friday.
Wickham spoke during an interview with Journalist Timothy Poleon on Real FM’s call-in programme – Newsspin.
Philip J. Pierre led the SLP to a landslide victory in this country’s July 26, 2021, general elections, ousting the United Workers Party (UWP) from government .
The UWP won a mere two seats in parliament, compared to the 11 it formerly held in the 17-seat parliament.
Former Prime Minister Allen Chastanet retained Micoud South and Bradley Felix regained Choiseul.
“I think that Saint Lucians felt Philip J. Pierre needed to be given an opportunity to do what he has to do,” Peter Wickham stated.
However, the regional pollster observed that the new Saint Lucia prime minister’s big issue, COVID-19, is no different from what confronted his predecessor, Allen Chastanet.
Asked about the UWP’s chances at the next elections, he said that they are not as bad as people think.
Wickham expressed conviction that the level of the party’s defeat had to do with the ‘COVID reality.’
“The UWP can pick itself up and get moving again in relatively short order once they understand the reasons for the defeat, they understand the non-COVID related reason, and they can fix those kinds of issues,” he explained.
Wickham recalled that the defeat suffered by the UWP was not as bad as in 1997 when the SLP under the leadership of Dr. Kenny Anthony scored a massive 16-1 win.
He said he believed the UWP could recover faster because it is in better shape and has considerably younger leadership.
Wickham also voiced his opinion on the prospect of the UWP rebuilding with Allen Chastanet at the helm.
“I am a person that believes you should have one chance at leadership,” he declared.
“If you lead a party into defeat, I believe the first thing you need to do is offer your resignation. At the same time however, that has not been popular in the Caribbean,’ Wickham noted.
At the same time he said that the political leadership of the UWP is probably best vested in one of the people currently in parliament, who include Chastanet.
However, Wickham disclosed that his natural inclination as a political analyst is that in defeat; it is better to give someone else a chance.
“The question is whether there is the alternative talent within parliament that would be able to make this type of step. I don’t know that they are necessarily convinced that there is,” the CADRES Director stated.
Headline photo: (L to R) Peter Wickham & Philip J. Pierre