Prime Minister Philip J Pierre has made it clear that he has no intention of working with the United Workers Party to address the crime situation on island.
At a pre-cabinet briefing on Monday, Pierre told reporters that a recent comment from one of the party’s senators was “desperation at its highest”, and furthermore, “how can you come together with people who call you criminals?”
Opposition Senator Dominic Fedee found himself in hot water recently after describing some of government’s supporters as perpetrators of crime.
Opposition Leader Allen Chastanet not long after stated that “the increase in crime across the nation in 2023 was unprecedented. The prime minister tried to justify a second year of 75 murders by claiming the rate of murders declined in the second half of the year due to his initiatives; we can all see the fallacy of this argument as we started the first month of this year with eight murders, an average of two per week. If this pattern continues we can only imagine what the death total of young men will be by the end of the year.”
As such, “the United Workers Party strongly reiterates its commitment to working with government to combat crime. We understand the devastating impact that crime has on people, communities and the economy, therefore, we urge all Saint Lucians to unite and stand as one in the fight against crime.”
In response, Pierre noted that no government or citizen wants crime in a country.
“Why are there two sides as it relates to crime? Why is there an opposition side and a government side? If the opposition wants to create division with crime and violence then they need to come together. When a leading member of the opposition can accuse more than 50% of the people of being criminals ,it’s desperation at its highest and that desperation can lead to other things,” Pierre said.
“I considered it ignorance and frustration. Frustration at being in opposition. It shows the sign of drowning men who are clutching at whatever they can,” the prime minister added.
Further he stated, crime was still an issue when Allen Chastanet led the government. But now, he said, the United Workers Party “pretends as if when they were in government there were no issues with crime and violence. From the time we’d been in opposition we always said let us not make this political.”