St. Lucia: Deputy Speaker resigns
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC – The ruling United Workers Party (UWP) Monday suffered a setback ahead of the general elections later this year, when the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly Marcus Nicholas tendered his resignation.
Nicholas, the parliamentary representative for the Dennery North constituency, said that his resignation also from the UWP takes effect immediately.
Nicholas was critical of the government’s decision to re-direct funds from the Dennery North Rural Council to the Dennery South Village Council.
“That has not gone down well with the people of the valley who are not happy with the treatment meted out to their district rep, and this has caused a lot of problems within the constituency and I personally cannot take it anymore,” he said.
Nicholas is the second parliamentarian to resign from the UWP. The other being Janine Compton Rambally, the daughter of the late prime minister Sir John Compton, who died a year after he led the party to victory in the 2006 general election.
Political observers say Nicholas’ resignation could have political implications for Prime Minister Stephenson King, who must now appoint a deputy speaker from among his existing Cabinet ministers.
Under the law, the deputy speaker cannot be a minister and Nicholas was the only government legislator not holding a ministerial position.
King has already indicated that he will call the general election later this year. In the 2006 poll, the UWP won 11 of the 17 seats with the remainder going to the St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP).