Retirement of Mr. Raggie

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RaggieBefore we begin our activity here today, I would like us to observe a minute of silence on behalf of the late Justice Suzie d’Auvergne who was the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.

The day belongs to Mr Raggie, the present Chief Elections Officer who in a few days time, will be retiring from the Elecotral Department and by extension, the public service.

My working relationship with Mr Raggie started as far back as 1979 when he was appointed by Mr Mc Clair Daniel to serve as both the Registration and Returning Officer for the then Castries North/East Constituency.

Since that time I have found him to be a very meticulous person who pays attention to detail, you cannot get Mr Raggie to agree or sign anything he has not given a considerable amount of thought to, sometimes to the chigurin of others, but that’s Mr. Raggie.

He has a very calm disposition. He is highly respected by his peers for the level of integrity he displays both in his position as Chief Elections Officer and his interaction in the society at large.

He has a good sense of humour and is quick to see the funny side of things.

Sometimes he may appear as being stubborn, evidence by the number of heated exchanges he have had with Commissioners during meetings.

Mr. Raggie has transformed this department into a more modern organization.

He forged greater links with other government agencies, in particular, the Ministry of the Public Service, notwithstanding some outstanding issues he would have loved to see resolved before demitting office, i.e :

the upgrading of the position of Chief Elections Officer to a grade 20;

an established gratuity scheme for the workers;

Remove the staff structure from what is termed ‘WAGES’ to ‘SALARIED’ workers; and

to give due recognition to the position of Chief Elections Officer afforded to the other constitutional positions such as the Director of Audit, the Commissioner of Police, the DPP, etc.

Mr. Raggie brought many changes to the registration and election processes. He was responsible for the introduction of the new national identification card;

the establishment of a sub branch in Vieux Fort;

The department’s website and Facebook page;

The introduction of transparent ballot boxes, to name a few.

He has represented St Lucia at a number of overseas workshops, conferences, seminars and election observation missions. He has also served in the capacity of Chief of Mission on a few occasions.

With all of this I would like to say to you Mr. Raggie on behalf of the electoral fraternity, you fought a good fight for your country by helping to maintain the democratic process in the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections in fair Helen and around the globe.

I want to assure you we at the department will continue to strive for higher ideals and to maintain the integrity of this noble institution.

We also want to wish you happy retirement and may the good Lord guide and bless your future endeavours.

Thank you

Gasper Jn. Baptiste