CASTRIES, St Lucia, CMC – Leader of the victorious St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Dr. Kenny Anthony, was sworn in as the country’s 10th Prime Minister on Wednesday, following Monday’s general election in which his party won 10 of the 17 seats in Parliament.
Anthony, 60, took his oath of office at Government House before Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy, and a small circle of relatives and friends, ahead of the rest of his Cabinet as the final count of Monday’s voting has not yet been completed.
An emotional Anthony thanked St. Lucians for their trust and confidence, saying “if I have lost my composure momentarily, I think you would understand and forgive me, and I promise to do my best to honour that trust and confidence which the country has placed in me”.
Anthony, who held the post of Prime Minister here between1996-2006, again warned that the country faced a difficult road ahead and that no single political party here will be capable of managing the affairs of the island alone.
“We therefore have to do our utmost to work together as a team, as one people, we must remember that the paramount consideration has to be at all times in the best interest of the people of St. Lucia,” he said.
Prime Minister Anthony said he was hoping that once a Cabinet had been sworn in, he would be in a position to address the people of St. Lucia and outline his plans for governance.
“I ask that some patience be exercised as I complete those constitutional processes in the next few hours,” he said, adding “I ask God to give me the strength and courage and most of all the wisdom to manage the affairs of the country in the next few years or until such time it is necessary for me to say goodbye to political life.
“So for me it is time to say to all St. Lucians that no matter what the difficulties are that lie ahead together we can face them, and together we will be able to resolve them,” he said.
Soon after he was sworn into office, Prime Minister Anthony travelled to the west coast town of Soufriere where heavy rains had caused severe infrastructural damage.
Meanwhile the Electoral Department Wednesday confirmed that while the results of only 15 of the 19 constituencies had been declared, the focus of the recount was on two constituencies, namely Gros Islet in the north and Babonneau in the north east, where in each case, the defeated candidate lost by less than 20 votes.
Lawyers for the defeated candidates have been present during the re-count and Electoral Commission member Claudius Francis said that while the Returning Officer had the final say on which ballots were valid, any further challenge to the process would have to be contested in the court.