SAN JUAN, July 28 (EFE) – The new prime minister of St. Lucia, Philippe Pierre, took office on Wednesday after winning the Caribbean general election last Monday.
At the event, Pierre, leader of the St. Lucia Workers’ Party (SLP), thanked the people for their support and confidence and for allowing 25 years of representation to lead the country for the next five years.
“The country must recover from the crisis in which it is collapsing,” Pierre said. “Most of you have accepted my opportunity to lead this rescue mission.”
Pierre’s victory is a political blow to Alan Sastanett, the prime minister and leader of the ruling United Workers’ Party (UWP), who is seeking re – election.
Pierre won 13 of the 17 seats in parliament, according to official data released Tuesday.
UWP members won two seats, nine less than the previous time, while independent candidates won two more seats than they had previously won.
Pierre assured his citizens that they could freely discuss the country’s political affairs, free from political retaliation, and that “our heritage is respected and the environment preserved.”
“We must manage an all-inclusive, equal, just society when citizens are treated with equality while the dignity of every individual is respected,” he said.
“I promised to be a minister, not just for a part of the population, but for the whole people,” he added.
In the 2016 general election, the UWP won 11 of the 17 seats in parliament.
About 160,000 registered voters were called in Monday to elect the new government of Saint Lucia.
The elections were monitored by observer groups from the Commonwealth, the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community.
St. Lucia is a small Caribbean country with a population of 178,000 and an area of 600 square kilometers. Its economy is mainly cultivated by tourism and banana cultivation.
Despite being an independent country, it maintains the King of the United Kingdom as Head of State, who appoints a Governor-General and the citizens elect the Prime Minister, who receives the most votes in Assembly elections and heads the government. EFE
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