Parliamentary Representative for Laborie, Alva Baptiste, stood defiant in the face of the government, warning that the SLP would do all in their power to ensure that government does not take advantage of St. Lucians.
“You see the last demonstration you saw? That was just rehearsal. That was just a dry run!” Baptiste said.
Baptiste issued the fighting words to the government on Tuesday morning during the debate for the Estimates of Expenditure in the House of Assembly.
With promises of taking their fight to the streets, Baptise said: “Our next demonstration will make this thing look like a Mickey Mouse compared to what we’re going to have, because the people of this country are determined to establish peace and tranquillity in this country.
“Therefore, any government — whether it’s the Labour Party or the UWP – (know that) there are things that people are no longer willing to tolerate. They want you to respect the Constitution, they want you to respect the rule of law in this country, they do not expect to be victimised and so you will be hearing from us.”
Baptiste expanded on his statement a short while later at the office of the Leader of the Opposition, where the other members of the opposition, held a press conference following the walk-out.
He told the media that although the SLP has a lot up its sleeves to face the Government, it will do so solely within the confines of the law.
Baptiste said: “The SLP will pursue its return to government via patient endeavour and we will manoeuvre within the parameters of democracy and within the parameters of the law. We are going to sustain the pressure on the government because we have thousands of St. Lucians who look up to us for honest purpose, and we are not going to abandon our responsibility as an opposition because of anything else.”
He continued: “We are patriotic St. Lucians and, obviously, people are hurting in this country, especially those who are victimised and cannot send their kids to school. We cannot sit in the Parliament and decide we are not going to articulate the issues. However, we are not going to engage in (any) coup d’état; this is something that is not part of our DNA, therefore, we are going to do what is necessary.”
Baptiste said the party has observed the mood of the masses and assessed its next move judging from what they saw from the first march that was held last month. He said the SLP has demonstrated that it will stick to its word of holding the government accountable as it did with the march, sending a message of dissatisfaction to the government.