The United Workers Party notes the attempt to mislead Saint Lucians on the issue of the oversized Government delegation which attended the recently held Inaugural Session of the OECS Assembly in Antigua. The fact is St Lucia was represented by two delegations at the meeting in question, a Government delegation and one representing the Opposition.
The statutes of the OECS Assembly provide for separate delegations of both the Government and official Opposition. The United Workers Party reasserts its view that the Government delegation was unnecessarily large for what was principally a ceremonial exercise.
The observation was made out of concern that such “joy rides” are undertaken at a cost to the public purse at a time when the Government; by its own admission, is finding it difficult to source funds to pay the salary of public servants.
For the record the Government delegation comprised the following:
• Hon. Kenny D. Anthony.
• Hon. Harold Dalson.
• Hon. Emma Hippolyte.
• Hon. Alva Baptiste.
• Mrs. Kim St Rose, Attorney General
• Hon. Peter Foster, Speaker of Parliament.
• Sen. Claudius Francis, President of the Senate.
• Mrs. Jadia Jn. Pierre Emmanuel; and
• Mrs Allison Plummer, PS Prime Minister’s Office
• Ambassador June Soomer.
We note with clarity; and respect Ambassador Soomer’s inclusion as a non-political member of the delegation. Finally the attempt to make an issue over the absence of Opposition Leader Hon. Stephenson King from the meeting can be counted as a mischievous ploy, as Mr. King has already explained that he had informed the OECS Secretary General of his inability to attend as he had an inescapable commitment, to attend the funeral of a very close family friend.
It is our expectation that the Government will exercise good judgement in the future and relieve the nation from the largesse of its “joy rides” which we can ill afford in these trying economic times.