POLICE Officers, fire service personnel and correctional officers will go to the polls tomorrow, three days ahead of the general public.
Those members of the essential services will be casting their ballots at five polling stations three of which will be located at police headquarters at Chesterfield, Castries. The other two will be located at the Vieux Fort Police Station.
The rest of the population will follow on Monday but as to how many of them of voting age that are registered to vote, the Electoral Department can’t say as yet. The department, yesterday, was busily working on that information.
Meanwhile one out of the 40 persons who last Saturday registered as candidates to contest the general elections has bowed out of the race.
Simon Gajadhar of the Green Party, under which he was registered, according to documents from the Electoral Office, yesterday informed the Chief Elections Officer, Gasper Jn Baptiste via email that he will not take part in the election race “due to much confusion caused by his nominating party as well as a lack of support from them”.
Gajadhar, in his email, described himself as an ‘Independent Candidate in the 2016 elections.”
This means that 39 persons will be making bids for the 17 constituency seats in parliament. The two main political parties, the St. Lucia Labour Party and the United Workers Party have full slates of candidates while the minority parties like the Lucian People’s Movement and the Green Party have a candidate each.
Four persons will be contesting the election as Independents. Timothy Brian James in Castries Central, a self-employed man who believes that he could win that seat, but admitted that he does not have the popularity and political machinery of his rivals have, namely Stanley Felix (SLP) and Sarah Flood-Beaubrun (UWP).
Mc Donald Alexander, a farmer from Mon Repos, Micoud and Jeanine Compton-Antoine of Anse Feree, Ciceron, a Marine Biologist and farmer, will face the more powerful rivals of the SLP and UWP namely Herbert Roserie and Gale Rigobert respectively in Micoud North.
The fourth Independent candidate is Caleb Celestin of La Point, Dennery who lists his occupation as a businessman. He will be contesting the Dennery South seat alongside newcomer Jerome Gedeon of the SLP and longtime parliamentary representative of the constituency Edmund Estephane of the UWP.
The Lucian People’s Movement is taking its chances with its political leader, Therold Prudent, who for the past two years has been making his presence felt in the Gros Islet constituency.
Prudent says he is confident of winning the seat and is certain that with a presence in parliament his party, which has not seen the growth and development expected of it when it first appeared on the scene several years ago, will now become a dominant force in St. Lucia’s politics.