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Saint Lucians are being urged to brace themselves for more new information coming out of the signed multi-million dollar deal between government and Deserts Starts Holding Company Limited (DSH).
Member of Parliament for Castries South Ernest Hilaire told the media on Tuesday that while quite a lot have been said about the project, government has not addressed the concerns raised.
“It probably expresses, in many ways, the crisis that they face with this project. But I think there is still a lot more to come out. Trust me….I am sure that in the next few days, a lot more will be asked of the government to explain.”
The SLP spokesperson on commerce and investment said that this is just the first set of information on the controversial deal, explaining that “the government also went ahead and signed other agreements already.”
Hilaire maintains that there is a finality in the document.
“If it is not final, how does it provide to make changes to CIP legislation by the end of December? Look, if it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then its a duck,” he said.
The Castries South MP said it is neither a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or a letter of intent, but a signed agreement between two parties, which clearly says what the obligations of the government are.
“The government is saying that they still have to put detail but the detail you put will not be in contradiction to what is provided there,” Hilaire declared.
Touching on claims that the project was kept a secret by the previous administration, the MP said that the government was in negotiations, and stakeholders were present during these meetings.
“We were in negotiations. But it was a bad agreement and we would not have signed it in the form in which it was signed. So, there was nothing secret about it. You are in negotiations with another party, you include stakeholders. There is nothing yet to be made public,” he asserted.
Hilaire said the negotiation team was so bad, they didn’t even send it to cabinet for consideration because at that level, it was deemed to be a bad agreement.
“What this government has done, is sign it immediately,” he added.
The Allen Chastanet government, signed an agreement with a Hong Kong company to build the $2.6 billion Pearl of the Caribbean development on a 700-acre site on the south of the island near Hewanorra International Airport.
The project will include a marina, a racetrack, a casino, a resort and shopping mall complex, entertainment venues, waterfront villas and apartments.
DSH Caribbean Star Limited, an affiliate of Hong Kong-based Desert Star Holdings, is expected to begin construction in 2017.