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From left, SLP officials at the press conference, Moses Jn Baptiste, Philip J. Pierre, Dr. Ernest Hilaire and Joachim Henry

(SNO) — Officials of the main opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) are laughing at the explanation given by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet for the postponement of the much-touted Desert Star Holding’s (DSH) thoroughbred racing event.

The event was carded for February 17, but according to the prime minister, local hotels won’t be able to accommodate guests because of a Test match between West Indies and England, to be held in Saint Lucia the same month, and the upcoming independence celebrations.

This, after the government had boasted that the hotel room stock on the island was on the increase.

“We have had a bit of a hiccup with the cricket that’s coming in, on the early February, and also with the upgraded program we are doing for the independence, we cannot get hotel rooms,” Chastanet explained.

But the SLP is not buying the explanation, and when questioned on the matter at recent press conference, SLP Member of Parliament for Castries South, Dr. Ernest Hilaire, and others could hardly contain his laughter.

“By the time Independence Day comes, other matches will be played in other countries. So how do you postpone a horse race that was supposed to be the highlight of our 40th anniversary of independence because all the rooms will be taken up by cricketers and supporters when the match would have been finished a long time ago?”

Dr. Hilaire said the matter all boils down to credibility.

“How does someone stand up, face a nation of 170,000 people, plus those in the diaspora and openly, shamelessly, look at them in the eye and say that?” he asked.

Chastanet has not given a new date for the racing event but did say he tried his best in the entire situation.

“So more than likely we are going to have to move from the 17th as a date to some date further down,” he remarked. “But I tried my best. We got one hotel where we were able to get 30 or 40 rooms. We just have to now give up those rooms because we did not get anything else.”


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