Prime Minister Allen Chastanet says he does not have the legal authority to postpone elections, due later this year.

He said everyone can expect elections within the legal period that the constitution prescribes.

Chastanet spoke to reporters on Tuesday as he arrived for a sitting of parliament.

He was responding to concerns over whether Saint Lucia may postpone elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My understanding is that we have, legally, until July to call elections and that there is a provision for a three-month extension past that,” he explained.

“But I would also say that I don’t know of a government that has gone into the three-month period,” he stated.

“But that certainly is, legally, an opportunity,” the PM told reporters.

“Certainly, that is not something we have explored at this point,” he disclosed.

Chastanet responded to the issue of elections being held during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are trying to make sure we can have as normal an election as we possibly can,” he noted.

However Chastanet said right now it would be difficult, given the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

He expressed the view that if people follow the protocols numbers will go down significantly.

“We saw it coming past October when we saw the spike and by November, we were able to see the numbers start coming down,” Chastanet recalled.

Nevertheless, he asserted that it would be a ‘herculean task’ to bring down the current COVID-19 numbers.

Chastanet lamented that some people still believe that the virus does not exist.

“And I am asking those persons in particular to respect their country, respect their brothers and wear their face masks and practice their social distancing,” he said.

According to Chastanet, those protocols work.

Source: St.LuciaTimes

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