CASTRIES, St Lucia — The next general elections in Saint Lucia are constitutionally due in 2021. However, Richard Frederick, a former government minister in a previous United Workers Party (UWP) administration, believes there will be a change in leadership long before that date. The current UWP administration is headed by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, who is facing a number of pressing national issues and related voter dissatisfaction.
“I’m seeing down the line,” Frederick said, “and I see for Christmas, I see for Christmas there’ll be the installation of a new prime minister in this country and Richard Frederick will lead the charge. I will lead the charge. I will!”
Frederick made the remarks in front thousands of people during a protest march organised by the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) on Sunday, September 9.
Frederick indicated his support “without hesitation” for opposition leader, Philip J Pierre, to become prime minister.
The popular talk show host and local attorney also made his intentions to contest the next elections very clear.
“I want you to tell Chastanet, I say I will be coming up for the next elections,” he said.
At an SLP press conference last Wednesday, Pierre was asked about Frederick’s statements, and the former UWP politician’s relationship with the SLP.
“Richard Frederick spoke as an independent citizen on Sunday. Independent! Very independent,” Pierre emphasized.
“I am leader of the SLP. As we speak, we have six election candidates. I cannot read Mr Richard Frederick’s mind. I’m not in a position to read Richard Frederick’s mind,” Pierre added.
Asked if Frederick would be a welcome addition to the SLP team, Pierre’s response was cautious and somewhat vague.
“The SLP has a process by which it chooses its election candidates. Anybody who wants to run for the Saint Lucia Labour party has to go through the process,” he said.
Frederick, a former parliamentary representative for Castries Central and now one of Chastanet’s fiercest critics, has been speaking of throwing his hat in the political ring again for quite some time.
Expelled from the UWP by Chastanet and other party delegates in 2014, Frederick, who won the Castries Central seat twice in 2006, first as an independent in March and then as a UWP candidate in December, did not say under what banner he will participate as a candidate in the next general elections.
What vehicle Frederick will use to contest the Central Castries constituency is left to be seen; however, one thing is certain: his opponents are in for one heck of a fight as he has not so far lost an election in that constituency.