Stephenson King new St. Lucia Prime Minister


Stephenson King new St. Lucia PM

Sun, 09 Sep 2007 15:38:00

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC – Stephenson King has officially taken over the reins of government here following his swearing in Sunday as St. Lucia’s Prime Minister.

King who took the oath of office during a low-keyed ceremony at Government House Sunday, replaces Sir John Compton who died Friday after several months of illness.

He immediately pledged to carry through the work started by Sir John, who came back from retirement last year to lead his United Workers Party to victory.

"I am extremely grateful for the confidence which my Cabinet colleagues and legislators have bestowed in me in my selection as the successor for our great leader, and I promise to do my utmost to achieve all of what he would have wanted for his beloved country in the remainder of this current term," King told CMC after being sworn in.

The swearing-in was presided over by Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy, and attended by members of Cabinet and parliament as well as other Government officials and King’s family.

King, who acted as Prime Minister while Sir John was ill, served as Minister of Health and Labour from 1987-1992. He stressed that his immediate focus was celebrating the life of Sir John, who must be properly honoured for his sterling contribution to the development of St. Lucia.

He added that following the burial he will turn his attention to making some changes in the Cabinet.

"I will need to take a look at the current ministerial portfolios to ensure that there is an even distribution of responsibilities as possible," he said.

The decision to go with King as head of the Government was reported to have been agreed to by all 10 elected members of the governing party who had been meeting since Friday to discuss choosing a successor to Sir John.

However, inside sources said the discussions were occasionally stormy with at least two parliamentarians demanding Cabinet posts in exchange for their support.

King declined comment on the issue stating that the matter could not be given any priority at this time.


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