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St Lucia: Did former PM pronounce general elections early May?

By Caribbean News Global fav

TORONTO, Canada – It can be said without illusion that it is ‘business as usual’ leading up to the general election in Saint Lucia – if according to Dr Kenny Anthony in parliament last week, responding to the estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2021/22 – that general election is in early May 2021.

Seeking explanation to the World Bank financing for budget 2020/2021 for $79.6 million associated with a Development Policy Credit, “I await the answers to these questions,” Dr Anthony said. “Saint Lucians need the truth; they need to know what they face when they wake up the next morning after the general elections in early May.”

Caribbean News Global (CNG) will publish further reading – St Lucia in a deep hole.

However, be what it may, the world is listening. The Caribbean is watching, as Saint Lucians are expected to decide – which of the two political parties will lead the people to the mountain top of hope and inspiration, destitution or mendicants, or more debt and despair of colonialist precepts.

Business as usual also draws the analysis of the Throne Speech entitled: Adapting, overcoming and preserving: We are a resilient nation, delivered on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, by Governor-General of Saint Lucia, Sir Emmanuel Cenac.

A Throne Speech whitewashed in its conclusion


The Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) health agenda as described says: “ Reaffirming that a healthy nation is the foundation stone for successful socio-economic development, and building on the successes of 2020 – ‘the Year of Health’, my government will continue to ensure the effective implementation of the National Healthcare Quality Policy, as well as the National Chronic Disease Policy which has as a target to lower premature death due to National Chronic Diseases (NCDs) by 15 percent by 2025.

“ My government will continue to implement measures to secure the full transition of the Owen King EU Hospital, under a statutorized management and operational structure during 2021.

“Further, and critically, my government will consolidate ongoing work towards broadening access to affordable health care, by means of the National Health Insurance System, which will reduce or eliminate out of pocket expenditure for a number of health services.   In this respect, new legislation will be necessary to govern the administration, operation and management of the health insurance fund.”

The nexus to this is a direct reference to COVID-19, as noted by opposition leader Philip J Pierre responding to the estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2021/22:

“Turning to the governments’ response to COVID-19, the opposition leader expressed his concern for the state of healthcare, the alarming number of COIVD-19 related deaths, more than the entire OECS combined and the increase in the number of persons who cannot meet basic healthcare costs. Opposition leader Pierre attributed this to a direct failure of the Chastanet-led administration who scrapped Universal Health Care (UHC) plans of the SLP upon assuming office in 2016.”

COVID-19 and vaccines

On March 13, 2021, Saint Lucia observed the first anniversary of COVID-19. Dealing with the pandemic was described by chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Sharon Belmar-George as “transformative” and in “terms of building resilience for managing other public health events that may happen later on. It was also an opportunity for great collaborations and strengthening for systems, both within the ministry and in other agencies.”

On Saturday, March 20, 2021, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced 8 new cases of COVID-19. Active cases currently recorded in the country to date is 145. The total number of cases diagnosed in the country to date is 4121. And 55 COVID-19 related deaths.

As of March 19, 2021, said the MOH, “a total of 20, 247 individuals have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” the MOH continued. “The vaccination drive March 22 to March 26, 2021, is directed at individuals who are homebound due to age, illness or immobility will be targeted. These individuals are encouraged to make an appointment at their nearest Community Wellness Center to receive the vaccine at home.”

According to PAHO/WHO Saint Lucia is among the 15 Caribbean countries that will receive just over 2.1 million doses of COVAX vaccines by May 2021.

At the 6th special meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed that “to bridge the vaccine gap in the region, he has spoken to vaccine manufacturers specifically about the situation in the Caribbean.”

The OECS Authority highlighted the challenges that SIDS faced in terms of vaccine equity and lamented the fact that the OECS had not yet received any vaccines from the COVAX Facility. 

Saint Lucia has been a participant in vaccine benevolence and revived 28,000 doses of which 5,000 was donated to Grenada. Moreover, the pronouncement by the GOSL that AstraZeneca vaccines will be forthcoming form the following markets: COVAX Facility: 74,000 – AMSP CARICOM: 35,739 – the government of India: 185,100 – by February 2021, is mute.

The new projection is May perhaps in keeping with general elections as pronounced earlier – a new round of jabs is the doctors’ prescription, albeit the CMO pontificates that “herd immunity [in Saint Lucia] is projected within the next six months.”

Perhaps “unrealistic” like the estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2021/22?” Miracles do happen from time to time!

However, in the interest of being ‘good corporate partners,’ Sol EC Ltd and 1st National Bank rescued the MOH “when we found out the stickers were indeed running out”.

A bloody weekend [3 gunshot related deaths? 4 wounded]

At approximately 7:00 am Saturday, March 20, in full view of commuters Secretary of the Gros-Islet Minibus Association, Hermia Lorde, was shot at close range and pronounced deceased.

On Sunday, March 21, the Royal St Lucia Police (RSLPF) probing the shooting death of a man, “whose body was reportedly “dumped from a moving vehicle in Babonneau”: meanwhile three men were wounded in a drive-by shooting in the City of Castries.

Early Sunday evening, a third death was seemingly reported and another nurturing gunshot wounds in Dennery.

A social media commenter wrote: “What the @#$# is going on in this country? The government, especially the prime minister and minister of security, seem to be paralyzed and moo-moo as war has been declared by the criminals while law-abiding citizens look on for some semblance of direction. What have we gotten ourselves into?”

Another commenter wrote: “We don’t have a leader in this country.”

Here comes another nexus. Meantime, Saint Lucians are unable to get an authoritative clarification of the Debt/GDP ratio [102 or 87 percent ] – homicides for 2021 is a well-kept secret and perhaps unknown.

The United Workers Party (UWP) administration statistics as reported are:

  • 2017- 60 homicides;
  • 2018-43 homicides;
  • 2019- 50 homicides;
  • 2020-55 homicides.

Total – 208

‘Gangster paradise’: Crime is big business in St Lucia, says national security minister

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