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STATEMENT BY HON MOSES JN BAPTISTE AT THE SAINT LUCIA LABOUR PARTY’S PRESS CONFERENCE, TUESDAY JULY 9TH, 2019
Opposition leader, Hon. Philip J. Pierre, has written to the Governor General, Sir Neville Emmanuel Cenac, advising him to revoke the recent appointments of the members of the Public Service Commission and the Teaching Service Commission.
According to the Leader of the Opposition, the consultation undertaken by Prime Minister Allen M. Chastanet was a sham and a mockery of the requirements of the Constitution.
The Leader of the Opposition pointed out to the Governor General that “section 85(1) of the Constitution of Saint Lucia, SI 1978 No 1901, makes it mandatory for the Prime Minister to consult the Leader of the Opposition before tendering any advice to the Governor General for the purposes of appointing members to the Public Service Commission. Likewise, section 92(1) of the Constitution also makes it mandatory for the Prime Minister to consult the Leader of the Opposition prior to tendering advice to the Governor General to appoint members to the Teaching Service Commission”.
In his letter to the Governor General, the Leader of the Opposition shared the facts surrounding the recent appointments of several individuals to the two Commissions. He wrote as follows:
“1. By letter dated April 30th, 2019, the Prime Minister wrote me to “inform” me of his intention to recommend three persons to the Public Service Commission and three other persons to the Teaching Service Commission.
2. I received a second letter from the Prime Minister dated April 30th, 2019. In this letter, the Prime Minister said that he writes to “inform” me that he intends to recommend the appointment of Mr. Cyrus Reynold as “Chairman of the Public Service Commission and as a member and Chairman of the Teaching Service Commission respectively, effective May 1st, 2019 until November 9th, 2020.”
3. May 01, 2019, was a Public Holiday. I replied by letter dated May 03, 2019, as follows: “I note your intention to advise the Governor General to appoint Mr. Cyrus Reynold as Chairman of the Public Service Commission and as a member and chairman of the Teaching Service Commission effective May 1st, 2019.
Please note that your letter was received on 2nd May 2019.
4. To my astonishment, Issue 24 of the Saint Lucia Government Gazette dated, Monday, June 17, 2019, published the names of the proposed members of the two Commissions and announced that the appointments were effective, May 1st, 2019.”
The Leader of the Opposition disclosed that he received the Prime Minister’s letters on May 2nd, 2019 yet the appointments were made effective May 1st, 2019.
The Leader of the Opposition urged the Governor General to revoke the appointments of the members of the Public Service Commission and the Teaching Service Commission at the soonest and ensure the re-appointment of new members in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution. He advised that any appointment, transfer or act of discipline, decision or other action taken by the Commissions would be unlawful and unconstitutional.
The Leader of the Opposition warned that if the appointments are not revoked within twenty-one days, then he would have no other choice but to approach the High Court for Declarations that the appointments to the Public Service Commission and the Teaching Service which were gazetted on June 17, 2019, are unlawful, void, unconstitutional and of no effect.
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