While Timothy Poleon and the rest of the press corps sought her here, there and everywhere, while an over-excited population in election mode yearned in vain to hear from her on her abrupt resignation from the party that for over four decades her father had operated unchallenged as his private domain, by her own words yesterday Jeannine Compton-Antoine was communing with the Almighty.
At her first meeting with the press since her February 6 resignation, Jeannine said: “When I entered the political arena in 2007, it was all about service to country. Although many people believe that my decision to enter politics was following the death of Sir John Compton [sic], in fact God had decided this was my path a long time ago.”
It was always her hope that she would play a part in realizing her “father’s dreams and aspirations for the people of Saint Lucia, especially the people of Micoud North.”
Said Jeannine yesterday: “Micoud North is the only constituency that has a forty-seven-year unbroken record for support of the UWP but, sad to say, with all that love and loyalty to party, Micoud has continued to be neglected.”
Did she know that for all the years he held political office her father had served Micoud North as its parliamentary representative as well as the rest of the country as prime minister and minister of finance?
Did she know that when Louis George was first elected MP for Micoud South he said in his first public address that “we are fed up with living off the crumbs from the master’s table,” a hint of the dissatisfaction that permeated the whole Micoud area?
Did Jeannine know that the Labour Party’s most repeated criticism of her father was that despite his leadership position in government for some forty years his constituency was even more neglected than Anse la Raye and Canaries?
At her press conference she said the Micoud people elected her to be their voice but her voice “in most instances” was ignored and in consequence so was the voice of the Micoud people.
She said God had guided her decision to leave the UWP now that it no longer stands for what it did in 1964 when it was founded by her father, George Mallet, Henry Giraudy, Michael DuBoulay, Christopher Alcindor and St Clair Daniel, “people who sacrificed to bring us to where we are today.”
It is difficult not to remember that what Henry Giraudy, the UWP’s chairman for life, is best remembered for is non-payment of taxes totaling up to $800,000. Certainly it had nothing to do with personal sacrifice.
Besides, it was John Compton himself who handpicked the team that under his leadership won the 2006 general elections, John Compton himself who had allocated the portfolios among the gentlemen Jeannine now claims hijacked the UWP.
Still it was not an easy decision when it came to abandoning ship. “I prayed for days over this matter,” she revealed. “In the end the guidance from God was that I would better represent the people of the constituency and Saint Lucia if I leave the party.”
She did not explain how she would perform the particular miracle. But then her family had always enjoyed a special relationship with the Almighty. Remember when in 1992, from a political platform vibrating from the sounds of Crazy’s “I can’t take it no more,” John Compton claimed he had received the date of the year’s elections in a sealed envelope handed him by God?