The leaders of the two main political parties have appealed for calm as St Lucia residents gear up to elect a new government in a general election, a date for which has not yet been disclosed.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has called for a peaceful campaign, while Opposition Leader Phillip J. Pierre, says “the country needs to calm down”.
Last weekend, rival supporters of the ruling United Workers Party (UWP) and the main opposition Sr. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) clashed in the Babonneau constituency.
Police said that the altercation began after supporters of the two parties painted graffiti over each other’s on the road in the constituency.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Chastanet reminded the country that “even though someone is your political adversary, that doesn’t make them your enemy.
“We all want the best for St. Lucia. Let us respect each other’s right to have a difference in opinion and ensure that we have a safe and responsible election campaign. United We Stand. Divided We Fall,” said Chastanet.
For his part, Pierre, appearing on an SLP-sponsored television program on Monday night, said “our country needs to relax.
“There is too much tension. You never know, they always threatening someone…and all kinds of negativity. We coming for you…we need to settle. We need to settle the country, we need to get St. Lucia back to a point where people have a belief that this country is mine,,,,” he added.
In the last general election in 2016, the UWP won 11 of the 17 seats with the remainder going to the SLP.