The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has issued a warning to Prime Minister Philip J Pierre to immediately reinstate the State of Emergency, which government ended last Saturday.
The party claimed that the current protocols restricting people’s movement and freedom of assembly are illegal and ultra vires the Constitution. The party further claimed that should the Prime Minister fail to do as requested it will take action in the interest of safeguarding Saint Lucia’s democracy and preserving Law and Order in the country.
The party however did not expound on what sort of action it would take nor has it given the Prime Minister a time frame to reinstate the State of Emergency, factors several Facebook users have raised, citing the opposition as not being serious about taking action against the Prime Minister as a result.
The government is not perturbed at all from the utterings of the opposition and is awaiting whatever action the opposition may want to engage seeing that its action is intra vires the Constitution according to a source.
“This Labor Party administration continues to put politics before the people of Saint Lucia and refuses to follow the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. The current orders SI no. 163 of 2021 and SI no. 164 of 2021), are lacking in legal authority and are ultra vires the Constitution of Saint Lucia. The Covid-19 Prevention and Control Act is lesser law. Any regulations made under the Covid-19 Prevention and Control Act that seek to override or derogate rights or freedoms enshrined in the Constitution will be ultra vires the Constitution unless there has been a declaration by the Governor General that he is satisfied that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the occurrence of an infectious disease,” the party noted.
The opposition further claimed in light of the revocation by the Governor General, the Government proceeded to rely solely on the Covid -19 Control and Prevention Act to prohibit the assembly of two or more persons in a public place and to confined ‘a person to their place of residence’, in the interest of public health.
“Under the Constitution, Saint Lucians are entitled to certain rights and freedoms and the two freedoms that are the subject of discussion are s.11 freedom of assembly and s.12 freedom of movement. The Constitution is also very clear that certain rights and freedoms can be derogated in the interest of defense, public safety or public order,” the opposition claimed, adding that under s.17 the Governor General may declare a State of Emergency once he is satisfied a public emergency has arisen as a result of infectious disease, such as the Corona virus as declared by the World Health Organization.
“It is at the point of a declaration by the Governor General that he is satisfied that a public emergency has arisen that there may be derogation to the rights and freedoms contained in the Constitution”, noted the party, stating further that it is committed to helping the fight against COVID-19.