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Kenny Calls for Peter Josie Arrest Over Statements Made

By Reginald Andrew
Former parliamentarian Peter Josie
Former parliamentarian Peter Josie

Former parliamentarian Peter Josie appears to have landed himself in ‘hot waters’ within local political circles over some ‘damaging’ statements he delivered at a United Workers Party (UWP) press conference, last week.

In the midst of the gun violence that escalated in the southern community in recent times, Josie reportedly stated that the ruling St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) regime has “declared war on the people of Saint Lucia…and the place where the war has been most effective is in Vieux Fort”.

He added, if given an opportunity to mobilize the young people from the southern community, “I would try to mobilise Vieux-Fort, and no member of the Labour Party would ever visit Vieux-Fort…and would mobilise them (youth) so that they don’t kill each other, but I would tell them where the shooting should be.”

This statement has not gone down well among certain sectors of civil society, and more so, the ruling St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) membership which has taken umbrage with what is perceived as violent intimidatory conduct. 

And to add even more to the objections, former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Vieux Fort South Dr. Kenny Anthony strongly feels that the statements were mainly directed at him as the constituency’s district representative.

Former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Vieux Fort South Dr. Kenny Anthony
Former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Vieux Fort South Dr. Kenny Anthony

Stating that he shuddered after hearing the remarks, Dr. Anthony declared: “Most people knew that the statement was not directed at all these Labour party politicians but one man – Kenny Anthony.”

The Vieux Fort South MP condemned the remarks, while noting that there is no place for hatred in local politics and that criminal proceedings should be lodged against Josie over these controversial comments.

Dr. Anthony contended that to account for their wrongdoings, certain people searched for excuses and it was all part of the local culture.

 “He didn’t mean that. He said the wrong thing. But I put it to you …that it is only an individual with a criminal mind, with criminal intent who will make such a statement like the one Peter Josie made,” said the veteran parliamentarian and leading legal practitioner.

He argued that though many people including the police would dismiss these remarks as ‘that’s politics’, however, others would describe the comments as ‘vintage Peter Josie’.

Josie was a former SLP parliamentary, who in the late 70s and 80s was regarded as a ‘firebrand’ politician. He formed a formidable duo with the late Bro. George Odlum as they radically canvassed for justice and equality for the masses. However, he fell out with the SLP and later switched his allegiance to the UWP, from the 90s.

Dr. Anthony suggested that Josie planned to make an impression before the UWP gathering with his remarks and there was ‘applause in the background,” as he (Josie) uttered these words.

“Peter Josie should be charged for those utterances. You don’t need more evidence than the evidence on this video,” said the long-standing Vieux Fort South district representative.

In response to Josie’s utterings, the UWP in a statement, last Friday said: “We recognize that certain statements made on our platform, though be it through a guest appearance, may have been misconstrued as inciting violence. We deeply regret any misunderstanding, distress or concern that may have been caused.”

The UWP missive also cited several issues that they claim warrants concern, as some of these actions and statements delivered by SLP operatives could also be regarded as prone to or inciting violence.

“The UWP is committed to fostering an atmosphere of openness, tolerance, and constructive dialogue. We emphasize that our intention is not to engage in a tit-for-tat exchange but rather to promote transparency and accountability within the political sphere,” the UWP statement adds. “The promotion of violence by any party is unacceptable and undermines the democratic values we all hold dear.”

Meanwhile, last week, the St Lucia Labour Party Youth Organization (SLPYO) strongly condemned the recent “inflammatory remarks” made by Josie.

The SLPYO stated this was a “disturbing sentiment” expressed by Josie and the youth group “firmly denounces these reckless statements … as they promote violence and pose a significant threat to the peace and harmony of our beloved country”.

The SLPYO statement adds, “We believe that such rhetoric has no place in our society and does not align with the principles of democracy, mutual respect, and understanding that we strive to uphold.

“Violence and its consequences affect all segments of society, particularly the youth. It is our collective responsibility to create an environment that fosters unity, empathy, and peaceful coexistence.”

In a rebuttal to the SLP’s youth membership, the UWP said, “We urge the Youth Arm of the SLP to educate themselves about the history of their Party, including instances of threats of violence made against the people by members and hacks of SLP, instead of hiding behind a transparent shield of hypocrisy.”

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