Nearing 100 Days

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

THE current administration is about two weeks away from being in office for 100 days. During that past two and a half months, government ministers have been busying themselves with getting acquainted with the challenges that lie ahead, many of which seem insurmountable.

To date, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is yet to address the nation on how the government hopes to deal with key matters, including resolving the IMPACS matter, the status of the Grynberg case, and what state the economy is actually in financially.

In fact, the government did promise that by yesterday the findings of the multi-faceted assessment of the economy by the CDB, ECCB and IMF would have been made available. No word yet on whether that process has ended or whether the findings are still being perused by Cabinet.

Since assuming office, the Prime Minister has also been globe-trotting, reportedly to press flesh with potential investors and benefactors. His frequent trips overseas, however, has drawn the ire of many who believe that he needs to spend more time at home taking care of important matters.

While that suggestion might be debatable, an address to the nation by the Prime Minister within the government’s first one hundred days in office should be detailed with the accomplishments he was able to accumulate during those jet-setting trips.

While unemployment figures seem to be discussed less in the post-general elections era, the undeniable fact is that many Saint Lucians are still facing dire straits. With schools reopening next Monday, one can only imagine the frowns on many parents’ faces as they are forced to fork over huge sums of money to finance their children’s future. Some people just cannot afford to wait until real investment comes to our shores.

With a few sod turning ceremonies for major investments either in the pipeline or already over, one cannot fault the government for not trying. However, the waiting game for many might soon be over as people expect their dispositions to become better, in some cases, almost overnight. With the VAT scheduled for a possible reduction in two months’ time, many are anticipating that the government actually eases their squeeze.

A hundred days on a calendar is one thing. But in politics, the milestone is seen as something far beyond that. Some administrations use the short-term period as a benchmark by which they measure their mettle, to gauge how many promises they were able to deliver. Despite the known promises the government has been able to deliver on for now, such as the reduction in vehicle licence fees and sourcing new markets for local bananas, Saint Lucians need to know what plans – especially short-term — lie beyond these first 100 days.

While Rome might not have been built in a day, the government should certainly present a report card of all the things they were able to achieve since taking office. In fact, failure to do so might leave some citizens feeling like nothing much has been accomplished.

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