Below is a statement from the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP)
Having heard Allan Chastanet’s statements on DBS television on Friday, May 31, 2013, the SLP is demanding that he provides evidence to support his baseless (and possibly libelous) assertion that “the Labour Party under Kenny Anthony was convicted of maladministration”.
The Labour Party finds it alarming that someone who is proposing himself for consideration for high leadership positions would premise his analysis of the explosive findings of the Report of the Review on whether the potential fraud was committed under the Finance Act.
Surely Mr. Chastanet should know that fraud and misappropriation of funds are wrong and are not a function of the legislation governing the Councils.
The SLP calls on Mr. Chastanet to explain to the public, aspects of the review of the Soufriere Town Council which connects his campaign as UWP Soufriere candidate for the last general elections directly with illegal use of that Council’s funds.
The SLP presents a specific example from the report which documented funds from the council being used for Allan Chastanet’s campaign launch, which featured internationally acclaimed band, Third World.
The records show the following amounts with cheque numbers paid from the Soufriere Town Council to cover campaign expenses: (names of recipients withheld but can be found in the report)
Cheque # 00450, dated 11/14/2011 for $525.00 paid for training of (election) agents
Cheque # 00451, dated 11/14/2011 for $2,019.00 paid for catering for Third World Band
Cheque # 00452, dated 11/15/2011 for $7,100.00 paid for transportation and installation of flooring for launching
Cheque# 00453, dated 11/15/2011 for $21,000.00 paid for stage, 2 tents, roof, sound and lights.
Cheque # 00454, dated 11/15/2011 for $8,000.00 paid for production of fireworks for launching
Total amount: $38,644.00
The SLP insists that Mr. Chastanet explains why his campaign was being financed from the funds of the Soufriere Town Council.
The SLP is also curious as to whether the Town Council was counted among the “Friends of Soufriere”, who Mr. Chastanet said at the time was sponsoring his Third World activity at the Soufriere playing field. Considering that the OECS Court of Appeal called Mr. Chastanet “someone who is not a witness of truth” we await his explanation in this regard.
The SLP believes that Mr. Chastanet, as well as other members of the UWP, is well aware that the report on the Review of the Financial Operations of Town, Village and Rural Councils was never tabled as a forensic audit. That said, the SLP challenges Mr. Chastanet to deny the reported misuse of Council money; and is he suggesting that a forensic audit would have spared him such scrutiny?
The SLP is planning a press conference later this week to introduce its new public relations officer and to deal more substantively with other aspects of the Review report.
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