Is Chastanet prime minister material?

Allen Chastanet’s re–election by delegates to the helm of the United Workers Party, at the Sunday convention last weekend, does not automatically transcend into Chastanet’s suitability for the job of prime minister. What this reiteration of their confidence in him does is provoke, as it should, a tidal wave of highly opinionated speculation geared at what the man can actually bring to the table as the opposition’s prime minister-in-waiting; vis-á-vis his colourful track record in elective politics.

The incumbent Labour administration has already cut deeply into the arteries of Chastanet’s track record before, and will surely attempt to shred it to pieces once and for all on the 2016 campaign trail. In early August Prime Minister and Leader of the SLP Kenny Anthony dismissed Chastanet as “nothing but a disaster”. Chastanet, at the time, had been reiterating his own impassioned calls over national media for Dr. Anthony’s resignation owing to the latter’s dismal management of the island’s fiscal situation.

UWP leader Allen Chastanet: Is he ready to lead  St. Lucia in a new direction or will he accelerate the nation’s demise?

UWP leader Allen Chastanet: Is he ready to lead
St. Lucia in a new direction or will he accelerate the nation’s demise?

The SLP political leader went into Gladiator mode to deal with this one (step aside Russel Crowe) outlining a long scroll of what he summed up neatly to be Chastanet’s “monumental failures.” Said an unimpressed but clearly irked Anthony, “Everything he has touched has been a disaster. Allen Chastanet was Minister for Tourism for five years and I cannot recall any hotel expansion taking place, or any investment coming into this country.”

Nevertheless there were major blunders of Chastanet that Anthony seemed to find unforgettable recalling the infamous Boxing in Paradise, the Hepple Matter, the Surinam Airways embarrassment, the mass dismissal of tourism hostesses in Soufriere, and the investment in Black Bay which backfired at a cost of about 60 million dollars to the people and government of Saint Lucia to repurchase those lands. The SLP leader insinuated that he would not reel off more of Chastanet’s woefully lengthy record of botches and fiascos but more of that was in his possession, for recall at a more strategic time.

As far as Dr. Anthony is concerned, St. Lucia has had to pay a heavy price for the ideas Allen Chastanet has championed, promoted and implemented in government. Arguably this is the head of the Labour party speaking to a society where traditionally track records are not the yardstick of choice but rather kinship and friendship ties, in–laws, former classmates and so on, may just be the connections that make more in–roads than performance of politicians in this country.

As a society which is quick to train the beams of harsh scrutiny on the effectiveness of new leadership, Chastanet’s work will be cut out for him – particularly against the backdrop of his predecessor Stephenson King, whose bane has been not having the grapefruits to get rid of Frederick (when
he was a strong liability to the party) going into the 2011 elections.

Perhaps successfully ousting Frederick has been Chastanet’s greatest trump card yet. He will be remembered as the one to rally the party and to propel the expulsion. This necessary act, in the eyes of some, is an achievement which is nothing short of precious political mileage for their party leader.

Chastanet’s first order of business, as his challenger Claudius Preville also said, will be to remain true and committed to his victory speech, bringing to reality the unity which has obviously been portrayed via lip service only so far. Chastanet said on Sunday: “But today we have sent a resounding message to the Labour party and a resounding message to the people of St. Lucia that the United Workers Party is a united party and is ready to take the fight to them.”

Chastanet must realize that the electorate does not buy the lip service, made-for-TV handshakes and embraces anymore. The unending wrangling and schisms which have been extensively played out over the media have created a cynical electorate and have characterized the party in an unattractive light.

Chastanet should know by now that as long as the in–fighting and any unfair or corrupt practices persist in the party’s rank and file, disunity will remain a looming obstacle over the fortunes of the UWP. His litmus test as PM material? If not hastily quelled with immediate effect, UWP’s fiery composure will undoubtedly cost the party another
victory at the polls in 2016. Flambeau’s open fires and burning flames were only meant to be symbolic of the party’s fervour and passion but now seem to serve as the combustible means by which it will eventually consume itself into ashes.

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9 Responses to Is Chastanet prime minister material?

  1. Before you can reach any mountain top you have to go thru the valley below. In this case the valley is the sufferation of the St Lucian people of which Chastanet have attribute to and built his empire on. Now he wants to go on top of the mountain to fix his years of wrong doings. In what manner I ask and what price will St Lucians need to bear under his tenure ?? The saying goes people with money are only attracted to other people with money so one can only imagine how much of St Lucia would be for sale.

  2. rrabbit says:

    Thats exactly my point, these initiatives (SMILE and NICE) are just fire-fighting mechanisms to cover up the mass unemployment plaguing St.lucia. These programs have failed and are not sustainable, people need secure jobs which give them a sense of pride and empowerment. If Kenny wins another election in St.Lucia, we wont even have a guava season lol.

  3. Fer De Lance says:

    The whole island’s existence is based on roro, so you have already started judging Allen with your roro mentality, and this is dangerous because Dr. Kenny is the king of spreading roro with better days. Do you think things would be better under Allen? I do, at least he has a brain and is a man with integrity, unlike the big belly laba Santa with his STEP and SMILE, a type of welfare and poverty manufacturing system. Kenny borrows to create welfare, very scary, he calls kotlass roadside weeding and burning a job, when you have seven fat people staring at all the cars going by and looking like pirates.

  4. rrabbit says:

    When i read this article and follow the comments it saddens me. Our country is in a mess, our education system, economy, industry and people! We have a Prime minister who we continue to elect based on his charisma and ability to win the vote of the poor and ignorant with promises of a land of milk and honey. A prime minister who’s track record is synonymous with gross mismanagement of projects, cost overruns, VAT, shady secretive foreign deals and that is his only legacy. I’m trying to be objective, Mr. Chastenet appears to be a leader with vision who can drive industry and bring new ideas and investment to St.Lucia. I believe that a strong opposition needs to be in place so as to bring constructive criticism because of Chastenet’s conflicts of interest (Hotel & Family Businesses) to set boundaries for his power. I would like to address the issue of race, why is St.lucia following this new “race card” trend? So is it because Chastenet is fair skinned that he doesnt deserve to be prime minister? P J. Pierre was very vocal about race….is this the new politics? do we want to introduce a new dynamic and further divide our people? How embarrassing will it be for Pierre to become prime minister of this country with that kind of attitude? How is he going to rub shoulders with foreign leaders having such a complex…we have to start voting with our minds and for the good of our country instead of our pockets and political parties or our island will suffer…

  5. He is not a man of the people. He does not understand the plight of poor St Lucian’s. One can only understand the plight of the “common man” only if you have walk in his shoes ; and when I last look where has Allen Chastanet done so ? Oil and water don’t mix. Most hotel or business people with vested interest does not engage in politics because of perceive economic moralistic principles of the fox guarding the hen house. Running a hotel is not same as running a country. There are social and economic issues a country has to deal with and if you were once or is part of the puzzle that contribute to it’s economic instability YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS TRYING TO RUN IT. Still many will not see this; the will only see and believe in the concept of white is right and black is wrong.

  6. Eh eh how could I forget. The ass kissing multi million dollar to subsidies to American Airlines to fly to St Lucia while slashing the budget for the Tourist Board. Advertisement cost but it pays ; but when J. Pierre (The next Prime Minister ) did not do the same he was blasted by the dysfunctional political assassin in the media (They know who they are) He was right to say Chastanet will only win because he Shabbin.; we all know how St Lucians have inferior complex issues. King lost because they view him as a modern day Fat Albert and not the Leonardo da Vinci Fabio image many still has on their living room walls as a choice of the perfect messiah to govern.

  7. Fer De Lance says:

    Stupid article, if Allen is going to put Kenny away he needs to exploit the misery of “VAT” and “Better Days”. Hurricane and Trough Kenny have crippiled the nation with NICE and SMILE. This is not a pissing competition, the bottom line is are you better of today in Kenny’s Better Days? Do you want to live under the rule of a dictator in a red shirt and wrinkled pants. This worst that St. Lucia has ever been, Kenny selling off the island cheaply. Kenny is a desperate type of business man, the kind who is inferior and gives away everything .He is just like Santa right down to the big belly and red dress.

  8. an American diplomate says:

    Viva Doctor Kenny Anthony
    Viva Labourer
    Viva Stlucia

  9. Yesss I see you have done your homework Tasha Smith take notes. Black Bay, Tourism Hostesses in Soufriere( choops Soufriere on a whole). Boxing in Paradise, Sourinam Air , Air Jamaica(millions lost some people never bounce back) Jazz, The defunct wine and Rum festival something along that line, JQ Monopoly on food import for years building his empire on the backs of poor and working class St Lucians. How soon they forget. Some of them wont talk because they are afraid to loose their seat at the dinner table (They know who they are) the absolute shame of it and they have the nerve to pump their patriotic fist on daily basis when they themselves want nothing more than to see their bosom buddy sleeping in government house.

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