(SNO) — Opposition Leader Philip J. Pierre has described the United Workers Party’s response to his letter to Prime Minister Allen Chastanet as “bizarre”.
“The United Workers Party must be in a rather desperate situation. What our letter said to the prime minister was that he had awarded a contract to a firm for $15 million without tender and that contract would mean that the taxpayers of Saint Lucia would have to pay $15 million plus interest at 6.5% over a period of four years. All we are asking of the prime minister is or him to follow the Finance Act and bring the contract to parliament. That’s all we are saying. We did not question the contract. We did not question why the contract was given without tender. All we said was that this is a loan, according to the Finance Act, Section 39,” Pierre said.
In a statement rarlier on Friday, the United Workers Party (UWP) said the Labour Party has a “pattern of destabilization and sabotage” that is now clear for all to see.
Pierre, in response, said he does not see the relationship in him asking the prime minister to obey the law and the United Workers Party saying that his party has a pattern of destabilization and sabotage.
“There is no relationship between the government being asked to follow the law and destabilization. I am at a loss. I am going to say that the government is desperate and trying their best to deflect attention from the real issues,” Pierre said.
According to the UWP, Pierre, in his letter to the prime minister, made reference to $15 million for roads in Micoud and a further $13 million for the one in La Ressource.
“What Philip J. Pierre failed to tell the St. Lucian people is that these road projects were facilitated via a Design, Build and Finance arrangement,” the UWP noted in its statement.
“This Design, Built, Finance arrangement is no different to the very same facility used by the Saint Lucia Labour Party during their last term in office for the Banse – La Haut Road totaling $29 million. In fact the signing ceremony to mark the commencement of that project was held on Wednesday January 7, 2015 at Banse, yet only taken to Parliament in July of that year.
“Here we see, again, another shameless example of the St. Lucia Labour Party endeavouring to sully the reputation of this government when they themselves, while in government, subscribed to, and implemented the very same Design, Build, Finance facility for multiple projects,” the statement quoted.
The letter to the prime minister has the contractor describing the facility as a “Design/Build/Finance – Road Rehabilitation Loan”.