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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07BRIDGETOWN1168
2007-09-10 20:32:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Bridgetown
Cable title:  

ST LUCIA PRIME MINISTER JOHN COMPTON PASSES AWAY

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  PINR  ST  XL 
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VZCZCXRO3184
PP RUEHGR
DE RUEHWN #1168 2532032
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 102032Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5441
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 1794
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J5 MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEHCV/USDAO CARACAS VE PRIORITY
						UNCLAS BRIDGETOWN 001168 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR ST XL
SUBJECT: ST LUCIA PRIME MINISTER JOHN COMPTON PASSES AWAY




1. Prime Minister of St. Lucia Sir John Compton passed away
on September 7 from a series of strokes and other
complications. He was 82 years old. Compton led St. Lucia
to independence from the United Kingdom in 1979, becoming the
island state's first prime minister. He also served as
Premier of St. Lucia from 1967 to 1979 pre-independence, then
as prime minister in 1979, again from 1982 to 1996, and then
from December 2006 until his passing. He came out of
retirement in 2005 to lead his United Workers Party (UWP) to
victory in the December 2006 elections. Compton's funeral is
tentatively scheduled for September 22.



2. Acting Prime Minister Stephenson King was appointed prime
minister on September 9. King served as acting prime
minister since May 2007 when Compton became too ill to
actively lead the country. He is expected to announced his
cabinet in the next couple days.



3. Various press reports claim that two UWP members of
parliament were hesitant to back King as prime minister.
According to these reports, Rufus Bousquet, who Compton fired
from his position as foreign minister, attempted to trade his
vote for a position back in cabinet. Marcus Nicholas, who
was relieved of his cabinet position when appointed deputy
speaker of parliament, is also alleged to having demanded a
cabinet position and the firing of Ausbert d'Auvergne, an
appointed Senator who served as Minister for Economic
Affairs, Economic Planning, National Development, and the
Public Service under Compton. D'Auvergne is widely
considered one of the most brilliant planners in government,
but also ethically dubious. He has a reputation for being an
autocrat and considered by many as having too much power for
an appointed official. As of yet, Post has not heard any
reports as to whether these concessions were met.



4. A by-election for Compton's seat must be held within 90
days. However, there will be no need for national elections
because, according to the Constitution, the Governor General
appoints as Prime Minister from among the existing seat
holders the member of parliament who appears to command the
support of the majority of parliament.
FISHER