St. Lucia - Leadership

The dramatic success of the SLP in the 1997 elections demonstrated St. Lucians' confidence in Anthony. One political observer described the victory of the Anthony-led SLP as "deliverance." The mistakes of his predecessors also contributed to his success. The government of St. Lucia's first prime minister, John Compton, was associated with numerous scandals. Anthony's immediate predecessor, Vaughan Lewis, offered an approach to politics that was more textbook in nature than it was creative or populist. He was seen more as a stiff technocrat holding the reins of power than as a flexible politician who would be prepared to bend where necessary. These past failures of leadership left Anthony with the image of a "savior." His election campaign made no extravagant promises to the people. It did, however, promise change.

Soon after taking office, Anthony followed through on his campaign pledges by introducing several significant changes. He appointed new people to positions of leadership at state corporations. He appointed a new governor-general, Calliopa Pearlette Louisy, and announced that an audit team would be assembled to review state finances in order to let the people know where the country stood. The number of ministerial portfolios was reduced to ensure that the government was not overstaffed during this difficult economic period. Thus, Anthony has taken a very populist approach to his position, promising to hold meetings with each representative national body in the country.

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