Castries – Opposition Leader Allen Chastanet led supporters through the streets of the capital on Tuesday as the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) staged its ‘March for Democracy’ accusing the ruling St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government of having has ‘gone rogue’.
Chastanet, who reminded supporters that he had been suspended from the Parliament during the last sitting, but has since been reinstated after taking legal action, led the supporters from the Vigie Playing field on the outskirts of the capital to the Parliament building.
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“I had no choice but to go back to the courts, and I am very grateful that I was able to win the court case and the government has agreed now to revoke that suspension,” Chastanet said in a video posted on his Facebook page, adding that the motion to rescind his suspension would be placed before the Parliament on Tuesday.
“But this is happening too frequently. This government is doing this with the greatest amount of ease. We’ve seen since they have come into office that on many occasions they have attempted unsuccessfully to suppress your civil liberties by operating in contravention of our constitution.
“Our constitution is what protects us from being an authoritarian dictatorship,” he adding that while he is grateful to have won in the courts twice, it was also necessary for the people to take to the streets to voice their disapproval of the government’s behaviour.
Chastanet had filed an application asking the High Court to declare that the Parliament had no power to suspend a member for “an indefinite period save and except” in accordance with the St Lucia Constitution and or the House of Assembly Act.
He had also asked the High Court to issue a declaration that his May 2 indefinite suspension “was unconstitutional and null and void and of no effect”.
“I will, therefore, be attending the next, and any subsequent, sittings of the House. My substantive claim for a declaration that my suspension and detention were unconstitutional and unlawful, and for damages, has been scheduled for case management and trial later this year,” Chastanet said. (CMC)