St Lucia opposition asked PM for details of citizenship money

Dr Ernest Hilaire

CASTRIES, Saint Lucia — The Saint Lucia Labour (SLP) continues to demand that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet reveal details of Citizenship by Investment (CIP) funds as required by law, and to stop “misleading parliament and the people of Saint Lucia on the use of CIP monies.”

“If you don’t answer, the opposition will table a formal question in the House to force a response. Because, the people have a right to know,” the SLP said.

Section 33, subsection 3 states: “The Minister for Finance shall lay before Parliament every financial year for its approval the purposes to which the funds will be allocated.”

The central issue said the SLP “is not how the prime minister intends to use monies to be earned from the CIP. This is a separate issue. It is “how the CIP monies collected since 2016 has been used by the prime minister” and that “we must know where the CIP money gone.”

“The prime minister during the last sitting of parliament [ June 11] attempted to explain that the budget estimates for 2019/2020 contain projects which are identified as projects to be funded under the CIP. The SLP maintains that the prime minister never mentioned in his presentation on the estimates, nor in his budget statement, any project to be financed with CIP monies.”

The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) spokesman for CIP, Ernest Hilaire wrote on social media, Thursday, June 13, 2019:

“What has he done with CIP money collected from 2016 to the end of the 2018-2019 financial year?”

“Attempts by him and his surrogates to present me as a liar will not substitute for his failure to state to parliament and the people of Saint Lucia where has the CIP money gone for the last three years. He must answer the question,” Hilaire explained.

“Plain and simple,” Hilaire wrote, “Not how the CIP money will be spent in the future. Account for the money you have collected since 2016?”

The SLP has on prior occasions called on the prime minister to answer, “Where is the CIP money?

In 2014, then prime minister, Dr Kenny Anthony, said that Chastanet, as tourism minister in the 2006 to 2011 United Workers Party (UWP) government, was at the centre of an earlier failed project in Black Bay that ended up costing Saint Lucia taxpayers almost EC$60 million (US$22 million).

“This government is a failure. Every single project that it puts its hand on is tainted or grossly mismanaged. And every time it is the people of Saint Lucia to pay the price. We cannot continue with such gross incompetence in government. We must mobilise and demonstrate our rejection of the UWP government,” Hilaire concluded.