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Independent Candidates Given Ministerial Portfolios. But Many Are Wondering: WAS A DEAL STRUCK?

The inclusion of Stephenson King and Richard Frederick as ministers in a Labour Party administration is still a topic of discussion in the country long after they were sworn in.

The discussion is mostly centered around whether the Saint Lucia Labour Party and the two men struck a deal to jointly fight the then United Workers Party administration.

[L-R] Philip J. Pierre, Stephenson King & Richard Frederick
[L-R] Philip J. Pierre, Stephenson King & Richard Frederick
However, both men are unperturbed by the political excitement they have caused since winning their seats as independent candidates in the Castries North and Castries Central constituencies on 26 July, denying allegations of striking a deal with the Labour Party.

King who left the United Workers Party (UWP) 18 days before the general elections to form a movement called the ‘Blue Wave’ commended Prime Minister Philip J Pierre for recognizing the movement.

“I would hope that as we move forward with the blue wave in the parliament in an independent capacity but through an accommodation, (we) can continue to express its position in as far as the importance of good governance to the people and the role of the people in national development,” King said to reporters.

Many Saint Lucians believe that the actions of both men during the campaign and that of Frederick, long before the campaign, directed at the ruling United Workers Party helped the Labour Party in ousting the Allen Chastanet administration from office.

Even Prime Minister Pierre acknowledged this when in a speech after the swearing in of his Cabinet of Ministers stated that “the role the two successful independent candidates played leading up to and during the campaign in helping the Labour Party secure an overwhelming victory at the recent general elections,” led him to offer them ministerial positions.

“I look forward to the benefit of their ministerial experiences in charting a new and inclusive path on the governance of the country and in securing the hopes and aspirations of the Saint Lucian people.

Their inclusion, though not members of the Saint Lucia Labour Party, in my Cabinet is to signal that my Government will be nothing else but a Government of the people and for all the people. I hope together we can serve the people of Saint Lucia well,” Pierre said.

Frederick will hold the position of Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister responsible for Housing and Local Government while King will hold the title of Senior Minister with responsibility for Infrastructure, Ports, Transport, Physical Development and Urban Renewal.

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