Saturday 20 October, 2018

SLP to remove Cenac if elected?

The Saint Lucia Labour Party held a press conference this morning in which they took the government to task on the appointment of Neville Cenac to the post of Governor General.

The SLP strongly condemned Cenac as a partisan who had betrayed constituents and whose selection represented a new low for the UWP government. Alva Baptiste called him a 'political clown' and "a man of no merit and no credit and one's whose political actions has left a pungent smell in the body politic of St Lucia."

Leader of the Opposition Philip J. Pierre answered a question regarding what would become of Cenac were the SLP to be restored to power in the next election.

He stated that the SLP government would hold consultation with the opposition on what they intend to do and that the position of Governor General should not be partisan. An inference could be drawn that a man spoken of with such disdain would not remain should the SLP return to power.

A journalist surmised as much and put it plainly, “With your sentiments expressed here today, it would appear that should the Labour party get back into office three years from now, it would appear that Neville Cenac would be booted out.”

Ernest Hilaire responded, “If you had to advise us, what would you advise?” before laughing. Alva Baptiste then stated “I think we can put it in a medical context,” before being cut off by Pierre. The two whispered to each other before Pierre spoke instead.

Pierre stated that “we’ve made the point” about how they “would choose their Governor General” when in office. He then spoke of the consultations that were made with the opposition when Dame Pearlette was selected and how then UWP Leader of the Opposition Louis George agreed with the selection. He went on to condemn the government’s statement that it has always been the case that Governors General are chosen by the ruling government as arrogant.

One could conclude then that should the SLP return to power, Cenac's days would be numbered but that the UWP would be consulted as to a 'non-partisan' replacement.

However, the SLP made sure not to communicate this explicitly.

The SLP went as far as to say that the government must answer for misleading the Queen about Cenac in sending information about him that would not stand up to scrutiny.

Chairman of the party Moses Jn Baptiste said, “I think the government of St Lucia… needs to explain to the people… why would they deliberately mislead Her Majesty the Queen.”

Jn Baptiste continued, “Why would the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) present information about the new Governor General that cannot stand up to scrutiny?” He called on OPM Senior Communications Officer Nicole Mc Donald to tell the nation where she got her facts from. “If the Governor General was proposed to the Queen based on false information… then this Governor General has no legitimacy… This Governor General is not the person that the information refers to.”

This suggests further that should the SLP return to power, they would likely not allow a person they view as illegitimately vetted to continue in this prominent position.