July 17, 2021
Castries North MP, Stephenson King, has cited ‘far ranging’ issues encountered with representatives of the United Workers Party (UWP) administration, in a wide-ranging interview with Janeka Simon of The Virgin Islands Consortium relating to his decision to participate in the July 26 general elections as an Independent candidate.
“There’s so much one can take and there’s always a straw that breaks the camel’s back,” King, a former UWP leader asserted in responding to the question of not having spoken up publicly before and taking the opportunity during a motion of no-confidence in Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, in January 2019 to make his feelings known.
Among the issues of concern he raised during the interview that was broadcast Sunday was the matter of victimisation, disclosing that as Prime Minister during the period 2006 – 2011, he suppressed any kind of policy relating to that.
He said he does not subscribe to the doctrine of denying any Saint Lucian an opportunity to contribute to the development of this country.
“Certain members of the cabinet would refer to certain individuals in society as ‘My labour friends’, he recalled.
But King said there’s no politics within his friendships.
He told the Virgin Islands Consortium that from 2016 to 2021 there were a number of things which transpired that were not limited to victimisation.
“A lot of things, policy, the various actions and over time you say ‘Okay it will get better.’ But within the cabinet I advocated against those things. I advocated and kept on saying to people ‘I feel I am in shackles’, because you believe in a philosophy as a team player that whereas you may have a particular position and you may within closed doors within the cabinet express your gut feeling your conviction against it, you do know that there is collective responsibility that once you step out of that room you are bound to carry the flag of the team and I did that for this entire period,” he said.
According to King one of the things that troubled him was ‘a desecration of the constitution’ when current Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet refused to alter his cabinet arrangement to facilitate the appointment of a Deputy Speaker of the parliament.
“It pained me, “he stated.
King also spoke on the St Jude Hospital issue, asserting that Saint Lucians had been left in a situation that ‘we should never be proud of’ and that it was an indictment on the Allen Chastanet administration.
“Five years and millions and millions of dollars being pumped into this facility – to this day without completion and towards the end when time seems to be running out, then you saw all sorts of renderings being displayed, colourful renderings being displayed to say that this is what the facility will look like. Renderings don’t make a hospital,” King declared.