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PRESS RELEASE – The Saint Lucia Labour Party is surprised by the Citizenship by Investment Unit issuing a statement in response to the Labour Party.
The statement issued by the Labour Party was critical of the changes made by the Government and was critical of the actions of the Prime Minister. Therefore, it was expected that the Government or the Office of the Prime Minister would have responded.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has called on Prime Minister Allen Chastanet to stop politicising the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIP Unit) and avoid using the staff to pursue his political objectives.
The SLP believes that the CIP Unit must remain professional and objective and political operatives must not be seen to be directing or interfering in its decisions.
Accordingly, the SLP calls on the staff of the CIP Unit and other government agencies involved in issuing citizenships and passports, to be vigilant and ensure that the correct procedures are followed and that they do not give in to threats from political operatives.
The Labour Party, however, supports the announcement of the CIP Unit in its Press Release that citizenship which has been granted to anyone on the basis of false representation or fraud or wilful concealment of material facts can be revoked.
The SLP, therefore, wishes to repeat that when it assumes office it will conduct due diligence on every citizenship granted and any government official, board member, or political operative who knew or ought to have known or directed or approved any citizenship which is not in keeping with internationally accepted due diligence practice or the laws of Saint Lucia will be held criminally liable.
The SLP calls on the Prime Minister to review his approach and management of the CIP as the actions of the Government are severely undermining the image and reputation of Saint Lucia and posing a security risk to Saint Lucia. The Saint Lucia Labour Party says it is clear the Government does not want a debate on CIP in Parliament to avoid the public being informed.
The SLP says based on information reaching it from agents and persons within the industry there is a crisis of confidence in the Saint Lucia CIP as there is a fear that friendly governments and enforcement agencies are now reluctant to be associated with the Saint Lucia CIP.
Additionally, there is a now a higher fear of de-risking and loss of correspondent banks because of the loss of confidence in Saint Lucia. The SLP is sounding a loud warning to Prime Minister Chastanet that this will be catastrophic for the CIP in particular and Saint Lucia in general.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party once more calls on the Prime Minister to revoke the changes made and to restore credibility to the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment programme and end all political interference in the operations of the Unit.