St Lucia’s Opposition Accuses Government Of Using Suppression to Protect Victory

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The United Workers Party (UWP) has expressed that it is deeply concerned about what it calls “the growing use of suppression by the Government of Saint Lucia as a form of protecting their victory”.

In a statement, the Opposition said that it has been made aware of several reports of abuse of the civil liberties of law-abiding citizens in the south under the Government’s Suppression of Escalated Crime (Police Powers) which has given ordinary police officers far-reaching and unprecedented powers that infringe upon individual rights, liberties and privacy.

“Under the Suppression Act, ordinary police officers are now granted the authority to conduct searches of homes and businesses without obtaining a warrant. This expansion of powers which has largely gone unchecked raises concerns about further potential abuses and undermines the fundamental principles of justice and due process,” the statement said.

Furthermore, the UWP accused the government of deliberately suppressing crime statistics, creating a distorted narrative of public safety.

“Shockingly, this past weekend alone witnessed four shootings, two murders, a rape, and numerous robberies, most of which went unreported by the authorities. The government’s silence on these alarming incidents is deeply concerning, as it fails to address the growing insecurity in the country,” the statement added.

The opposition believes that the government has been silent on incidents, expressing that the growing insecurity in the country is not addressed.

“Equally troubling is the government’s suppression of the truth regarding the true economic situation. Despite recording record-breaking revenue through excise taxes, the government plans to implement an oppressive and unrecoverable 2.5% tax. This regressive tax system places an additional burden on citizens at an already difficult time while obscuring the government’s true financial intentions,” the statement continued.

Furthermore, the UWP accuses the government of deceiving the public about the actual state of unemployment in the country, leaving many citizens in the dark regarding their economic prospects.

The opposition further asserts that the government’s policy of maintaining exorbitant prices on fuel and cooking gas is tantamount to extortion, as it suppresses and hampers the standard of living for the majority of Saint Lucians.

The opposition also claims that another tool of suppression being utilized by the Government is the issuance of public threats against citizens of this country, in particular those who speak out against or take decisions contrary to the position of the Government.

“The Prime Minister has curiously remained silent amidst threats made by one of his Ministers against the Senior Executive of a major bank and a well known journalist simply for doing their jobs,” it added.

The Opposition is calling on the government to “stop playing politics with the lives and livelihoods of Saint Lucians”, while urging the Prime Minister to “immediately address these concerning trends of suppression to restore transparency and accountability.”

It further urges the authorities to safeguard the rights and freedoms of all citizens.

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