UK approves Mayers despite SLP concerns

The United Kingdom has approved Guy Mayers to serve as this country’s High Commissioner to London, despite opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) concerns.

The British government, through the Americas Directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has said that it looks forward to welcoming Guy Mayers in his new capacity.

In a diplomatic note to the government of Saint Lucia, the Americas Directorate said that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom had seen and approved the request for the former National Security Minister to serve.

The leader of the SLP, Philip J. Pierre, had expressed concern about the appointment of Mayers in a September 19, 2016 letter to Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet.

The letter was copied to the British High Commission.

In the letter articulating the SLP concerns, Pierre had requested that ‘deliberate consideration’ be given to withdrawing the nomination of the former Minister.

The letter expressed concern that Mayers, by virtue of his role as Minister of National Security in 2011, was central to the then government’s policy which led to the alleged extrajudicial killing of twelve persons during the police anti-crime campaign dubbed – Operation Restore Confidence.

It said there was strong condemnation from the United States government and other friendly administrations.

“It is difficult to accept that with the matter still unresolved, how appropriate can it be for the Minister who had oversight of the operation to be recommended for accreditation to a principal diplomatic posting,” the SLP leader wrote.

Mr. Mayers is a former president of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce and also a former Minister for Trade and Commerce.

In announcing his appointment as High Commissioner, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet called on all Saint Lucians to put the country first and be mindful of comments that could harm the country’s image.

It was an obvious reference to  the SLP concerns.

“We should be trying to get this country on its feet again not trying to bring her down. We have been open and transparent with the appointment of Mr. Mayers which is more than I can say for the appointment of previous ambassadors,” Chastanet asserted.

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