CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) – An emotional Allen Michael Chastanet was sworn in Tuesday as the sixth Prime Minister of St Lucia since the island attained political independence from Britain in 1979 vowing to unite the country following Monday’s general election.
Chastanet, an economist and hotelier, took the oath of office before Dame Perette Louisy at Government House on the outskirts of the capital. The brief ceremony was witnessed by family members including his 82-year-old father, Michael, as well as his wife and two kids.
Several of the victorious members of the United Workers Party (UWP) were also present and Chastanet, at time his voice choking with emotion, thanked the population for giving him an opportunity to lead the island over the next five years.
“Thank you St Lucians of all categories for listening and going out in large numbers yesterday and exercising your constitutional rights,” he said, adding “yesterday you voted for change and the United Workers Party is ready to bring about the change you want”.
Chastanet said “as a nation we have proven once again that St Lucia is a mature democracy in which the will of the people lives,” saying he wanted to thank the voters and “we humbly accept the overwhelming mandate you have given to us”.
The UWP won 11 of the 17 seats at stake in Monday’s general election, ousting the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) that was seeking a second consecutive term under the leadership of Dr Kenny Anthony.
Anthony congratulated all 17 successful candidates as well as those who participated in the general election noting that “the will of the people was to give the United Workers Party an opportunity to pursue policies and programmes aimed at improving the standard of living and the quality of life for all St Lucians.