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St Lucia's opposition party in favour of replacing Britain’s Queen as Head of State

Published:Monday | April 25, 2016 | 4:15 PM
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC):
The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) says it plans to make St Lucia a republic if it wins the next general election and replace Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as the island’s Head of State.

Addressing party supporters on Sunday, former deputy Commissioner of Police, Hermangild Francis, who has been named as the party’s shadow national security minister, said that the work done on constitutional reform by the late Justice Suzie D’ Auvergne and her team must not be neglected.

He said some of the recommendations on constitutional reform would be implemented as soon as a UWP administration gets into office.

“It is time. We have grown enough and can take care of our business so we need to become a republic,” Francis told UWP supporters, saying also that the party would accept the recommended term limits for prime ministers.

“We cannot afford to have a prime minister of the calibre of Kenny Anthony for 20 years. We must never allow that to happen again,” Francis said, adding that the UWP would also implement a fixed date for general elections.

Francis told supporters that the party would also seek to re-instate local government so as to allow constituencies to have a greater input in the development of their communities.

Regarding the appointment of a police commissioner, the former senior cop said that there will be changes to the process.

He said at present, the Public Service Commission conducts interviews before a top cop is appointed and that before the name of the person is sent to the Governor General, there must be consultation with the prime minister.

“The days when the prime minister has authority over the Commissioner of Police must stop,” Francis said, adding that under a UWP government, the candidate for Police Commissioner will have to go to Parliament and present his case before legislators.