ALLEN Chastanet is still the political leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), winning the position for the second straight year at the party’s annual convention last Sunday.
Some people are disappointed, others are not. However there is no down playing his victory as the one chosen for the position by the majority of the party’s delegates and his election seems to have satisfied the majority of Flambeau supporters since no uproar has materialized questioning the the exercise.
Chastanet, it seems, won fair and square.
With two wins under his belt, crushing victories at that, beating his challengers by hefty margin – last year 266 to 99 and this year 266 to 101 – Chastanet is certainly feeling that he is the undisputed the lot leader of the UWP. And why not!
Question is: Can he translate these two wins into that something many Saint Lucians are dying to see, a political party and leader who are focussed solely on improving the lot of Saint Lucia and its people.
Is Chastanet prepared to choose the best persons to fill the multiple positions that will become available should his party win the 2016 general elections? Will he continue to follow the practice putting party and party hacks first and foremost in positions where they are unable to show slate?
Many may not recognize it, but Sunday’s victory over Claudius Preville puts Chastanet in a position where he has no choice but to step up his game. His level of responsibility as the leader of the UWP has increased. The race is on for him to prove to the entire country that come 2016 he is the better man for Prime Minister.
No more blaming of others for the woes of the country, instead he should now be positioning himself to present ideas, strategies on how best the country could be governed.
Saint Lucia has a backlog of problems. How Chastanet and his team intend to deal with those problems should not be kept a secret from the public. Saint Lucians simply cannot remove one party and put in another just to say they have made a change, when all they have done was to change the faces in the offices at the Castries Waterfront.
The next two years will have to be serious ones for Chastanet and the UWP, especially for it re-elected leader whose short history in politics is yet to produce positive results. Not only must he convince Saint Lucians that his five years as Tourism Minister (2006-2011) – in which he has only a string of failures to show, is not a reflection of who he is today but also to convince them that he has their wellbeing at heart.
Given his past record of excesses his allegedly phone bill as Tourism Minister being an example – this may be a tough sell. But as the saying goes, issues only last for nine days in the minds of Saint Lucians. Who knows, his recent political history may already have been forgotten.