Three political parties and five independent candidates will face the electorate for a seat in the 17-member Lower House of parliament on July 26, Election Day.
The United Workers Party will be fielding candidates in all 17 constituencies. The Saint Lucia Labour Party will be fielding candidates in 15 while the National Green Party will have eight.
We were unable to name all the independents on going to press yesterday as the Electoral Office was awaiting nomination papers from the different constituencies; however we were informed that five individuals had successfully filed nomination papers as independents.
Two independents, Stephenson King and Richard Frederick were once members of the United Workers Party. King withdrew from the party just days ago while Frederick was fired from the party in August, 2014.
While King will be campaigning under the colour blue in the Castries North constituency, Frederick, though not a member of the Labour Party, will be doing his electioneering in Castries central under the colour red, which is the colour of the Labour Party, justifying this by calling himself an “Independent Labour Candidate.”
Philip J Pierre, political leader of the SLP said the reason his party did not field someone in Castries North and Castries Central was because other persons offered themselves in these constituencies.
“Those are persons whom we believe have admirably represented those constituencies in the past and are more than capable of doing so again. Let me be clear, those persons are not members of our party, nor have they applied for membership. We have in the past disagreed on several things, but we are in accord on the clear and present danger that this UWP administration represents and therefore we should not fight each other but we should marshal our energies to ensure that we, as patriotic Saint Lucians, confront and amputate this peril in our land,” Pierre said.
Pierre, who will be contesting the Castries East seat in parliament, said that the upcoming election is about rescuing Saint Lucia.
“It is about preventing Saint Lucia from becoming a failed state, where our institutions have lost legitimacy due to widespread corruption, violation of laws and standards of good governance and their failure to meet their obligations to the citizens,” Pierre said.
Already on island are election observers from Britain and Canada, with observers to come later from CARICOM, the Organisation of American States (OAS) and elsewhere.
The agreement with the OAS welcoming an Electoral Observation Mission was signed by H.E. Ambassador Anton Edmunds, Saint Lucia’s Permanent Representative of the OAS and its secretary H.E. Luis Almagro. That Observation Mission is expected to travel to Saint Lucia on July 21 and depart on July 29.