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St Lucia PM to announce election date

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

St Lucia PM to announce election date

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CASTRIES, St. Lucia – Prime Minister Stephenson King is likely to name the date for the general election tomorrow during a rally of his ruling United Workers Party (UWP) in the heart of the capital.
King, who has already said that St. Lucians will vote for a new government before year end, is predicting a political tsunami for the incumbent party at the polls.
He told party supporters in the west coast constituency of Soufriere that he intends to “break the back” of the main opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP), the main challenger to King’s UWP winning a second consecutive term in office.
Tourism Minister Allan Chastanet, who is facing the electorate for the first time, will contest the Soufriere which the SLP has won in the last three general elections.
But Chastanet has pointed to a number of achievements since he took over the constituency a year and a half ago, including flood lights for the stadium there.
Both the SLP and the lesser known Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM), which is also contesting the elections, have criticized the ruling party’s extravagance in its election campaigning.
Elections are constitutionally due in March next year, but political observers believe that the polls will take place in late November or early next month.
King said the UWP will host a rally at the William Peter Boulevard, its traditional stomping ground in the capital on Sunday and that it would be the final round of campaigning before the election date is announced.
King said a poll commissioned by the opposition SLP had the incumbent winning 14 of the 17 seats at stake, but the SLP has denied commissioning any poll.
King has gone as far as predicting a clean sweep of the election, acknowledging it will be the first time the party will be winning an election without the influence of the late Sir John Compton, who last led it to victory in 2006.
“Vaughan Lewis led the party in 1997 and he lost, Morella Joseph led the party five years later and she lost, but on this occasion you will give me that opportunity to win this election and lead you forward into progress,” King said. (CMC)