Opposition leader Allen Chastanet has again taken the Philip J. Pierre administration to task over its governance of Saint Lucia, raising several issues in an open letter to the Prime Minister.
Among the issues was what Chastanet described as a major unfolding crisis at the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and the behaviour of House Speaker, Claudius Francis.
He also voiced concern about Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP).
“We now have the British government breathing down our necks to determine whether Citizenship by Investment programs in Saint Lucia and other OECS islands compromise their national security,” the former Prime Minister noted.
Chastanet’s February 9 letter appears below:
An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia — Practice What You Preach
Dear Honorable Prime Minister,
On several occasions before and since coming into office, you have expressed to the people of Saint Lucia your commitment to transparency, accountability and good governance. Sadly, you have treated this commitment as you have your countless other promises to this trusting country of ours. You have failed to deliver.
It is especially depressing that by your words and by your actions, you offer every day more proof that you were never cut out to lead, that you do best as a follower.
It is becoming increasingly evident that your sole ambition is to appear to be a better version of your true self. Also painfully obvious is the price our country is paying for your delusion.
Prime Minister, let me remind you that some birds cannot fly despite having wings. Your repeated stories about your humble beginnings and what your parents did for a living, never mind that you consider yourself a general despite Saint Lucia does not have an army, none of that will improve the lives of our citizens. Chickens will never soar with the eagles. Your lofty notions and your high-handedness only add to this nation’s countless problems.
Your constant “protect the victory” reminders to the people you put first sound hollow in the ears of the majority of our citizens who fell for your empty promises. Your words in relation to crime remind of the Pharisees: “Do as I say, not as I do.” You preach to our young people about keeping good company. You talk to them about small infractions that can lead to the most serious crimes, then you turn around and do precisely what you seemed to condemn.
The Scriptures tell us: “Beware of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Also: “You will know them by their fruits. A good tree cannot—cannot!—bear bad fruit. Neither can a bad tree bear good fruit.”
Prime Minister, look around you. How many bad trees do you see? How many good? Which of your trees bear good fruit tree? If you cannot tell a good fruit tree from a bad fruit tree, the people certainly can.
It would appear that your government considers the mandate it won in the last general elections was a license to exact revenge on its critics. As if to confirm the growing perception, leading representatives of your government arrogantly abuse their offices, issue cowardly threats at every opportunity, whether in parliament or via the media.
The people have not taken lightly the recent threats of violence by the Speaker against those who do not support the St. Lucia Labour Party. They are grossly disappointed, Prime Minister. They realize now that they were taken for a ride in 2021. As the saying goes, they believe they were given a six for a nine. And they are losing patience. They are fed up with pious talk, empty promises and false philanthropists.
They are tired of being made to feel like blind beggars, when they were promised opportunities to better their own lives and the lives of their dependents. They get up every morning knowing there is no guarantee they will not be the latest crime statistic. They are tired of waiting for repeated promises with no delivery dates. They want you take by your sixes and to deliver the nines they were promised.
Worst of all is the contempt shown the people on a daily basis. Mr. Prime Minister, we have just witnessed in the courts a historic judgment handed down against the Speaker of the House of Assembly. Having been sanctioned by the courts—with huge costs that already over-burdened taxpayers will have to bear, the Speaker has now resorted to challenging the Leader of the Opposition to file a motion of no confidence against him.
This is the same palpable arrogance that left the Speaker no choice but to acknowledge he had abused the power and authority given him by our Constitution. Of course, he has good reason to be confident that no matter what, the earlier mentioned bad-fruit trees will continue to shelter him from the storm he created. In effect, the Speaker is mocking the judge and the consent order recently issued against him. And in effect he is mocking all right-thinking people.
The Speaker once again is demonstrating his total lack of understanding of the processes of good governance and the serious nature of the court’s ruling, in the same way he assumed a power he never had. He is well aware that a no-confidence motion would not be acceptable to his fellow protectors of the victory, even though his own attorneys acknowledged his lack of authority to pursue his biased intentions toward the Leader of the Opposition.
Prime Minister, the Speaker’s continuing attempts at grandstanding are utterly senseless and puerile and represent the very behavior you seemed to condemn in your New Year address. Another case of do as I say, not as I do? Honorable men are supposed to behave honorably, Mr. Prime Minister.
And it is pointless resorting to whataboutism, the usual response from the government when its members are called out for one reason or another. If the Speaker refuses to step down regardless, then you must do the right thing in the name of transparency, justice and respect for the people who handed you your big victory in 2021.
The Speaker has diminished the stature of our parliament with his carelessness, his arrogance, his crassness and his demonstrated incompetence. But we are not at all surprised. When he was appointed Speaker, Saint Lucians were well aware of the gentleman’s history, his reputation, his encounters with the law. But that is no excuse for quo. Spare the nation further embarrassment and confusion, and stop trying to force this obvious square peg into a round hole.
Mr. Prime Minister, there is unfolding at this time, a major crisis at the National Housing Corporation (NHC). You are on record as promising to discipline with dismissal any member of your Cabinet who is found to be engaged in acts of corruption. However, we are still to hear of any attempt by you to get to the bottom of these reports that are bound to tarnish the image and reputation of the NHC.
Here, we have a Minister who seems to be over-riding the decisions of his own Board in the purchasing and selling of State assets and has the nerve to announce publicly that he used his personal position to make a deal on behalf of the government with a person involved in one transaction.
From where does Minister Richard Frederick obtain such power? Is this a new style of governance that the Saint Lucia Labour Party has introduced into Saint Lucia? Prime Minister, Saint Lucians are waiting and watching to see how the NHC controversy plays out.
As if this were not enough, we now have the British government breathing down our necks to determine whether Citizenship by Investment programs in Saint Lucia and other OECS islands compromise their national security. Of note to us in Saint Lucia is the fact that we have recently announced our intention to allow Iranians to take part in our program.
Surely, you must be aware of the international sanctions on Iran and Russia as a consequence of the on-going Russia-Ukraine war and the danger to Saint Lucia or any other country that is seen to be giving comfort to either. We note your expressed confidence that due diligence will eventually prove Saint Lucia’s CIP to be strong and above board. However, given the problems which our small islands have had in the past with blacklisting by regulators in Europe, we must hold our breath.
Mr. Prime Minister Saint Lucians continue to express their dissatisfaction with your government’s decision to lease two of their ports to a foreign entity for as many as 40 years. The rationale or justification for such a decision is baffling and in the absence of any details of the transaction, suspicious.
As I said at the beginning, it is your government that promised Saint Lucians to be transparent and accountable and yet, on a matter of such grave importance and involving significant national assets, you have chosen to leave them completely in the dark.
There can be no doubt in the mind of any right thinking Saint Lucian that this decision represents a colossal blunder that will have implications for the national image and integrity of our country. After all, the Castries port holds an important place in the history of Saint Lucia as a coaling station at the beginning of the 20th century and later for its role in the Second World War.
These vital national assets should forever remain under domestic control. We urge you, Mr. Prime Minister, not to proceed with this plan. As I have mentioned before, it is worrying that your government has also taken the deliberate decision that there will be no development of the port of Vieux Fort during the life of this agreement. Here, too, it is difficult to understand the reason for this move, in the absence of an official explanation.
The matters raised here have serious implications for the future of Saint Lucia. We therefore urge you, Mr. Prime Minister, to give to them the attention they need so that the Saint Lucian public can be assured of the true intentions of your government in matters relating to the development of their country.
May God continue to bless our beautiful Saint Lucia.
Leader of the Opposition
ChASSnet nobody eh have time for your dissertation
Most Honorable PJP I hope you flush well. The audacity !
A man that should be in jail is writing a letter to the prime Minster the loo did nothing for the people after 41 years post independence staff at Coco palm hardworking for a basic salary of 200 dollars and 2 points service charge a fortnight . This man has no shame
Tactless it appears that you do
Rub it in there face Chas!
Gm, Chickens will never soar with the eagles. Your words here are ironic bc I just recently saw on YouTube the 10 richest prime minister’s in the Carribbean, Allen Chastened 7 million dollars, check it our for yoselves peoples… so this blunderous comparison of upbringings is a deliberate and invasive unfairness. The audaciousness’s of this letter is mind boggling. UWP turned Cap Estate into a Phockin Construction site for the last 4 years and has left absolute NO ACcessability from CAP Estate residents to walk to Cas En Bas beach with their pets bc of your selfish and disturbingly ABuSIVE Cabot sale of the peoples Land! Not to mention the next Canadian dollar store owner a piece of land on the pitons, not to mention the 40,000$ USD for horses brought in by private jet!…….. do I need to mention DSH people?…..!……… “”said at the beginning, it is your government that promised Saint Lucians to be transparent and accountable and yet, What about you’re govt UWP? Isint this the peoples government not yellow or red govt! Smph Woiiiiii and you bringing up Iranians in Cip you UWP sold a third of vieu fort to Saudi Arabians for Gods Sake! Smph smph
Wow But it is ok for you to give Twakin 900 acres for 99 years at a Dollar an acre..Give it up…
Mr Chastanet, in all what you said , you did not say the amount of passports that was sold during your term. It’s not too late can you tell us please.
Cabot is private land purchased from the bank after remaining in receivership for over 10 years. Stop the bs about Cabot being government land. Cabot is the same Raffles project privately owned and once the best thing since sliced bread for Kenny Anthony.
Mr Chastanet you and your adminstration did not prove you’ll self during your period as prime minister of St.lucia. Give the new PM chance to clean up your mess.
Politics – Politics – Politics: One thing to me needs to be done; the Hospital in the South; the other that stings me the most is the 30-40yr lease of the Castries and Soufriere Habours. Tear up that lease – build that Hospital and take care of crime.
I call on Heaven to preserve St. Lucia from the war to come between your benefactor Taiwan and China; may St Lucia be blessed.
O.K. it looks like St. Lucia politics; the power of one man taking on the Government of 15. It takes guts and I wonder how many St. Lucians would have bothered. He does not depend on politics for a living and he’s got some University background to back him. Does any of that excite the people? frankly I don’t think they give a damn, so why bother and who cares? maybe he cares and certainly not to make a living. Thank God I never had any ambition for this and I must give thanks never to venture in there.
The opposition has become a doomsday cult with Chastanet as it leader. All Chastanet has expressed in his diatribe is his disdain for PM Pierre. It shows how pathetic Allen Chastanet is and the imbecilic thoughts he hold in his vacous head.
Allen Chastanet, are you seriously expecting a response from the esteemed PM Pierre? With all due respect sir, you are a hopelessly incompetent opposition leader just as you were a vile and corrupt prime minister. All you left St. Lucia is a legacy of corruption.
Very disrespectful. This man does not deserve the trust reposted in him by the people. Your obvious disregard for the prime minister of this country is just a manifestation of how you regard the rest of the populace.
this place is only publishing pro SLP comments. Ignore this site. Its a lie.lucians are disgusted eith the SLP and it will show at theballot box
Mr Chasnet in.his letter to PM Pierre basically criticised him on his failure to show to St.Lucians transparency, accountability and good governance in his leadership of the country and the manner in which the government do things. I agree with what he said. Remember these are the 3 governance points that SLP promised to us in their campaign. Now they are in power , why are they not practicing them?
This is a clear case of dismissing the message because of the messenger. I do not support the obvious personal swipes at the Prime Minister; that was unnecessary. However, there were some valid issues raised particularly concerning the conduct of the Speaker of the House and the NHC affair. Our tax money is being used to pay for the Speaker’s ego and this will probably not be the last time.