Castries South MP Dr. Ernest Hilaire says the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party wants Saint Lucia to succeed in the current COVID-19 crisis.
“We believe that Saint Lucia must get it right to save peoples lives and save our country,” he told reporters outside parliament Tuesday.
Hilaire said as a result, the opposition will be giving Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and his administration as much space as possible to do so.
But he lamented that in the last few weeks nothing has been seen that necessitated a state of emergency.
“Our position remains the same,” the Castries South MP declared.
“But it’s not something that we are going to fight over – we don’t think now is the time necessarily to be fighting over the state of emergency,” he told reporters.
“Trust me, there are a lot bigger issues that will be put before us that we will have to deal with,” Hilaire explained.
The opposition has said in the past that it did not think there was need for a state of emergency.
It asserted that the powers needed to deal with the COVID-19 crisis are enshrined in the Public Health Act and the Quarantine Act.
“As an opposition we have taken the decision to allow the government the space to do what it thought was necessary to fight this coronavirus and as such we were not going to oppose it,” Hilaire recalled.
But he reiterated that the Saint Lucia Labour Party will be very vigilant to ensure that there is no abuse of the state of emergency powers.
Hilaire spoke as parliament as he arrived Tuesday morning for a sitting of parliament to consider an extension of the Island’s current state of emergency for an additional period.
The new period commences on April 27, 2020 and ends on May 31, 2020.
In presenting the measure, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced that sadly, the public emergency that has arisen as a result of COVID-19 continues.
He said the current situation should suggest to everyone that the country is still in danger.