Chastanet says UWP committed to delivering


Source: St Lucia Times

Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister-elect, Allen Chastanet, has asserted that his new government will be committed to delivering to the people of this country.

Chastanet, whose United Workers Party (UWP) won eleven of the 17 seats at stake in the June 6, 2016 general elections, said he was pleased and elated by the win.

“I am just very happy that our message resonated with the people of Saint Lucia,” he said in an interview with DBS television tonight.

The UWP leader said he truly believes that outgoing Prime Minister, Doctor Kenny Anthony and his government really forgot about taking care of the people.

“We can have economic growth and it is important to have economic growth – it is important to put the country first, but you can’t forget the people and that is one of the things we will work very hard on, is to make sure that we rebuild to the benefit of all Saint Lucians,” Chastanet declared.

Asked about his priorities, the Prime Minister designate said there are plans for arrangements for an inauguration tomorrow.

He disclosed that he will immediately start working on putting together a cabinet.

Chastanet revealed that the President of the Banana Corporation of Martinique was here for talks.

He said he will be asking newly elected Babonneau MP, Ezechiel Joseph, who will most likely be Minister of Agriculture, to proceed to have discussions with the Martinique official as soon as possible.

“I am very anxious that there are two hotel developments that we have been in discussion with and I hope to bring to fruition,” Chastanet said, adding that the projects have nothing to do with the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).

He also mentioned the situation with  the IMPACS report on twelve police killings between 2010 and 2011.

“We want to put together a tribunal as soon as possible to get the situation clarified so that we can move ahead,” Chastanet said.

He asserted that the IMPACS matter has been a stain on Saint Lucia’s name internationally and needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Chastanet recalled that the UWP had indicated that it would put a tribunal together to deal with the issue.

He said as soon as he has appointed an Attorney General, he will ensure that the tribunal is put together.

Chastanet also said his new administration will be looking to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) shortly and will commence talks with the Ministry of Finance, civil society here and regional and international institutions like the Caribbean Development Bank and the IMF, to find the best way forward in replacing the tax.

“We believe while VAT is an effective tax, in the context of Saint Lucia’s economy and society it is the wrong tax,” he asserted.