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King Cites ‘Ethics’ as Reason for Quitting UWP

FORMER long serving member of the United Workers Party (UWP) Stephenson King cited ethics as his reasons for contesting the upcoming general elections as an Independent.

King, who last Thursday severed ties with the UWP, a move which stunned the nation and which continues to generate discussion in country and in the diaspora, said the move was also about decency and good governance.

Former long serving member of the United Workers Party (UWP) Stephenson King (PHOTO: PhotoMike]
Former long serving member of the United Workers Party (UWP) Stephenson King (PHOTO: PhotoMike]

“It took me a very long time to take that decision, not that I procrastinated and such, but because throughout that period I struggled with my feelings, I struggled with my conscience in trying to make a determination to remain steadfast to the cause of the people and country. On many occasions I felt the need to walk away from the very beginning when it seemed to me that the posture of the administration didn’t conform with the philosophy of the party that I joined in 1980 as a young Saint Lucian man,” King said.

He said that many times decisions that would reveal a true reflection of the passion that individuals who represent people should take were overruled.

“There were times when I felt that I was disrespected and also felt like walking away but then there’s always the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” King added.

King, whose last post under the UWP banner was Infrastructure Minister said his move was timely.

“There are many people who said why didn’t you do it later, then I would have been, that great betrayal, that person who would have betrayed the population of Saint Lucia to run on a UWP ticket and then after the election do the famous crossing of the floor to join the other side in government. I am not about that. My behaviour, my practice has always been on decency, what is right, what is decent, what is in the interest of the people who called upon me to serve and so having taken this decision, in the last few days I’ve gone on a campaign trail to launch what I call the blue wave of the patriots, the wave of decency, the wave of good governance, the wave of working for the people in the interest of the people,” King said.

He added, “I’ve also gone on a campaign, not as they claimed to be a betrayal of the UWP but a campaign of the betrayal of corruption. It’s a campaign of the betrayal of indignity, it is a campaign against the behaviour of men and women who victimize and so much more. This is a campaign to say enough is enough, the time has come to stand up, step out as an independent candidate and unite the people of Saint Lucia into a new movement of decency, a new movement of accountability, a new movement of good government and good governance, a new movement of freeing the minds of our Saint Lucians so that they too can speak out, without the fear of victimization, without the fear of not getting a job, without the fear of probably not benefitting from the scraps from the tables of government to themselves,” King said.

Known as the Heavy Roller for much of his time in the UWP, King noted that his move signifies a new dawn in the politics of Saint Lucia.

“We shall rise up as one people, each independent of themselves, but connected to each other, to fend for themselves, to stand up, to speak up and to speak out. This is what I stand for, it is not about whether I sit in parliament as an Independent parliamentarian and the potential of not getting a full salary and not being able to fend for my people, or to be able to get the projects for my people. This in itself is the very reason I should stand up as an independent individual, to show the people that we can stand up as an independent person and voice our opinion and connect with each other with one common cause and that is to fight the cause that needs assistance against the wrong that needs resistance,” King said, adding that the wrong that is taking place in Castries North is one in which his former colleagues are trying to tarnish his reputation by spreading rumours and propaganda, attempting as well to destroy his integrity.

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