Former St. Lucia Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet and his United Workers Party (UWP) on Monday handed the incumbent St. Lucia Labor Party (SLP) of Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony a heavy defeat in general elections, winning 11 of the 17 Parliamentary seats.
Chastanet, a business man, was sworn in the next day as the island’s new prime minister, promising to work hard in building “a new St. Lucia.”
“Again, I would like to thank the Almighty God for allowing His will to be done,” he said in a nationwide television broadcast. “It has been a very difficult period for me and my family, but God has helped me through. No doubt, it has also been very difficult for you as well, and you have also been carried through by God.”
Chastanet called for national unity, urging an end to the name-calling and insults that were prominent in the intense campaign.
“Elections are over and so, let us put all the name calling, insults and persecution away; let us unite as a family, one nation under God,” he said. “We all are St. Lucians, and we must all work together to build this great nation of ours.”
He pledged “absolutely no victimization,” stating that his party was elected to serve all St. Lucians.
“You elected us to help all St. Lucians, and that is exactly what we will do,” Chastanet said.
In conceding defeat, Anthony, who served as prime minister for almost three terms, said he was stepping down as SLP leader but will continue to serve the Vieux Fort South constituency that he won. The SLP triumphed in the remaining six seats the polls.
“It is clear there was a major national swing against the St. Lucia Labor Party,” Anthony said. “I wish the people of St. Lucia the very best as we embark on this new journey,” he said.
“As to my future, I do not intend to serve as the Leader of the Opposition and indeed, Political Leader of the St. Lucia Labor Party,” he added. “I will, however, continue to serve my constituents of Vieux Fort South and support my other Parliamentary colleagues in their various constituencies as they seek to protect the interests of their constituents.”
In defeating the SLP’s Guibion Ferdinand in Micoud South, Chastanet won 2495 votes to 1446, according to preliminary results.
Besides Chastanet’s triumph, other UWP winners were: Dominic Fedee (Anse La Raye-Canaries); Ezekiel Joseph (Babonneau); Sarah Flood-Beaubrun (Castries Central); Stephenson King (Castries North); Guy Joseph (Castries South East); Bradley John Felix (Choiseul-Saltibus); Edmund Estephane (Dennery South); Lenard “Spider” Montoute (Gros Islet); Dr. Gale Rigobert (Micoud North); and Herold Stanislas (Soufriere-Fond St Jacques).
Except for Anthony, SLP victors were: Philip J. Pierre (Castries East); Ernest Hilaire (Castries South); Shawn Edward (Dennery North); Alva Baptiste; and Moses Jn Baptiste (Vieux-Fort North).