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As an avid reader and listener to our country’s developments I could not help but respond to the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Jadia Jn. Pierre-Emmanuel’s explanation on Timothy Poleon’s radio segment of Newspin on January 30, 2014 of the government’s reasoning behind selecting Anthony Astaphan as one of the attorneys to spearhead the investigations that resulted in Allen Chastanet and Ezechiel Joseph receiving subpoenas.
Jadia made it clear that the decision to select Anthony Astaphan is in the best interest of the country and that the government is committed to restoring integrity in public life.
Like any astute St. Lucian of which our country has an abundance, I did some research on Anthony Astaphan’s involvement in the St. Lucia Labour Party’s agenda in the Rochamel scandal as well as its political campaigns leading up to the last election. I cannot help but recall an article published in The Voice on November 10, 2011 titled, “Panic-stricken Kenny Brings in Astaphan’s venom.”
According to this article, concerns emerged over Anthony Astaphan’s involvement in the SLP’s campaigns where he was alleged to have made, “Blatant lies calculated to deceive and insult the people of St. Lucia.” According to the article Astaphan was allegedly accused of referring to supporters of the UWP as “jaundiced” and “intellectually challenged.” So it is clear that Anthony Astaphan defended Kenny Anthony in the court of law regarding the Rochamel case coupled with making a contribution to enhancing the SLP agenda prior to the last election.
Jadia I am utterly disappointed with the way you used the constitution to defend the selection of Astaphan to lead the investigation mentioned above. As press secretary you have ample time to realise that what the constitution describes and what is practiced can send a strong disturbing public message to the many St. Lucians like myself, that are familiar with Astaphan’s affiliation with the SLP.
This is without question “a conflict of interest” on the part of the current administration, and it is inconsistent to Kenny’s commitment to restoring integrity in the country. Astaphan needs to be replaced immediately. I am not a supporter of bad political practice but I strongly recommend to the attorneys who will represent Allen Chastanet and Ezechiel Joseph that they request a change in the government’s representation in these legal proceedings, adding sufficient available evidence to prove their case.
In the same Newspin segment in which Jadia called in, she was proud to announce that in two years the St. Lucia Labour Party has completed 200 projects under the Constituency Development Programme. I applaud the current administration for their initiatives in that regard however I am yet to hear of at least one project that remained in operation due to efficient reinvestment mechanism, hence keeping citizens at work for the long haul.
In as much as our increasingly impoverished citizens need money to meet their everyday needs, there are ways in which private/public sector ventures can help boost sustainable employment for a small number of employees that is certain to grow overtime. It is difficult for me to comprehend that the government pours millions of dollars in short-term programmes while unemployment levels continue to spiral to uncontrollable levels.
It means that new and existing programmes have to be executed in sustainable ways for the most part if there is any chance that of our struggling economy can begin to rebound. When money is hard to find, integrity transparency and accountability has to be fully executed consistent to gaining long-term public trust. This means that is the people are not part of this democratic process, Kenny you are in your own cocoon of deceit and in 2016 the public will let you know how they feel at the polls.