The minority Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM) has called for the scrapping of the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP), warning that some beneficiaries may be able to “buy” local elections.
LPM leader, Therold Prudent told the Times that the CIP should be scrapped in its current form until Prime Minister, Doctor Kenny Anthony, can put “correct measures” in place.
Speaking of the programme, Prudent said it leaves room for error.
“Anybody with the money is able to buy an election here in Saint Lucia; choose your men, choose your party that you want to finance and in that way control the country,” he told the Times.
According to him it appears as though the government, recognizing its failure to bring the unemployment rate down and deliver on its promises, has made a desperate bid at the 11th hour with the introduction of the CIP to demonstrate that it is pushing the country forward.
“In areas where it has been introduced before Saint Lucia you have a bunch of gated communities, leaving the nationals with no hope of moving forward and the country is basically in the hands of the rich,” the LPM leader asserted.
He proposed that instead of granting citizenship outright, there can be a programme of granting permanent residence as a start and after five years citizenship can be introduced.
“How can you give citizenship to someone who knows absolutely nothing about our country except that they have the money to buy a Saint Lucian passport?”
The LPM leader recalled that from the inception, his party was the only one that stood in opposition to the CIP.