King says Kenny has not changed!

Former Prime Minister Stephenson King and Leader of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has rejected the “olive branch” offered by the newly elected Prime Minister Kenny Anthony following the November 28 general election, saying that the offer is insincere.
King told the STAR that he has no reason to believe that Dr Anthony had changed from his old ways and remained skeptical about the overtures coming from the newly sworn in Prime Minister, in the aftermath of a bitter election campaign.
“It is ironic that after all the maligning, slandering, negative campaigning and character assassination of the Labour Party, that the Prime Minister can now extend a branch. I am not sure it’s an olive branch, it’s probably a rose branch, and I really don’t expect much from it,” King said.
“It’s nothing but a gimmick, it is really two faced and this is certainly not going to appeal to my party unless I see it happening.”
During his swearing in ceremony Prime Minister Anthony called for an end to the partisan bickering and called on the UWP to join forces with his government in uniting the country, conceding that no one party could rescue the country from turmoil presented by a worsening world economic environment.
But King immediately accused the new SLP government of victimization of supporters of the UWP, a practice he claimed was discouraged by his administration which was aware of the existence of followers of the SLP within the halls of government.
The former Prime Minister argued that historically the Labour Party had been less than compassionate to the opposition.
“Despite what Kenny Anthony says I do not expect a government of compassion, they will not go into government and deal primarily with matters that affect the people of St Lucia, but they will go witch hunting in an attempt to attack and destroy every single individual in the former government,” King said.
“This is nothing new I know it is very likely to happen, and I am not afraid. I am not afraid of Kenny Anthony and his Labour Party.”
When asked whether he is willing to work with the new SLP administration, King stated that he will not oppose everything that the Labour Party will implement for this country, “but I will support good initiatives that I see is of benefit to this country and will oppose what is not in the best interest of the country.” He further stated that his focus is to become a formidable opposition in the House.
Prime Minister Anthony in an interview with Clinton Reynolds on DBS’ News Maker Live said that despite the UWP’s leader’s refusal to accept his overtures he will continue to engage King on issues of national importance.                 “Disappointing obviously, but I understand the pain and agony of defeat and I went through it, it wasn’t easy,” he said, “losing an election after two terms is less painful than losing an election after one term.”
He maintained that there was no ulterior motive and given the enormity of the challenges facing the country, dialogue among the leaders in the country was vital.
“I will always extend the olive branch to the leader of the opposition, I have said that I will not treat the opposition as I was treated during my period in opposition and no matter how difficult the opposition leader makes it for us to dialogue I will continue to try,” the Prime Minister said.
“In the interest of the development of the country, it is very important that we talk to each other as there are issues that require consensus, so I will continue to reach out to him in more ways than one, as I am now determined that we begin to change our political culture,” he added.
The PM also noted that during his years as the opposition leader, certain privileges were taken away from him vowing that no one should endure what he went through during his time on the other side of the aisle. In keeping with such vow, the PM offered the UWP leader services of the state vehicle and security detail. But as of last Tuesday morning, reports indicated that former Prime Minister Stephenson King had returned the vehicle to the government. Attempts to contact Mr King for a comment was futile but sources inside Parliament Office told the STAR that there isn’t any definite law within the constitution that dictates what the
Opposition Leader should be entitled to but services such as security and a state vehicle are only privileges that he or she can choose to accept or not.

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