The article below is a statement submitted to the general media, including St. Lucia News Online (SNO), by the Office of the Prime Minister. The statement was not written by SNO and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of SNO staff and management or its parent companies.
The attention of the Government has been drawn to a statement made at the instance of DBS by the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Stephenson King, that “If one were to navigate through the public service and to scrutinize the various appointments made ever since the Labour Party got into office, you will find that the political administration of the government has grown beyond their imagination. In fact it is probably the biggest ever in the last fifteen years in this country.”
It would appear that the Leader of the Opposition is suffering from acute amnesia.
When the Leader of the Opposition served as Prime Minister, he recruited and orchestrated the appointment of twenty three retired officers to the Public Service of Saint Lucia. Apart from some who received hefty salaries, the vast majority of those persons were known political operatives and sympathizers of the UWP. Twenty of those officers recruited from outside the Public Service were appointed on a consultancy basis.
To compound this abuse, Hon Stephenson King approved the appointment of a further twenty officers without the involvement or approval of the Public Service Commission. One of those officers received a salary of $20,000.00, another $16,800.00. At least nine other individuals received total emoluments over ten thousand dollars.
Out of respect for the privacy of these individuals the Government will not name the individuals concerned.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party Administration is not in the business of justifying its actions by taking example from Hon. Stephenson King or the United Workers Party. However, the Government objects to King’s efforts to sanitize himself when he engaged in the biggest abuse of political power ever seen in this country.
What is so objectionable about appointing a Special Advisor in the Ministry of External Affairs and approving six contracts to Saint Lucians, two of which are short term?
The Government hopes that if action is taken to refrain from renewing the contracts created and approved by Stephenson King, he will not, in turn, accuse the Government of discrimination, as he usually does.
It is really disappointing that Stephenson King should continue to attack the appointment of Senator Jn. Pierre to the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries. As The Government has explained, Senator Jn. Pierre merely replaces Ubaldus Raymond who resigned. It is so easy for the Leader of the Opposition to forget that on the assumption of office in 2006 the UWP had a Cabinet of some fifteen Ministers and parliamentarians, the largest ever in the history of this country.
Frankly, Stephenson King needs to decline the bait to address issues which constantly incriminates him.