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St Lucia’s strategic realignment (commentary)

By Melanius Alphonse
Melanius Alphonse

Melanius Alphonse

For Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s impressive amount of ineptitude, immense lack of credibility and thin covering of respectability, one would have thought, after ten months in office, he would perhaps smarten-up a bit on the institution of democracy.

Avid readers will remember my article, Enablers of ‘steering’, ‘kleptocracy’ and ‘ignorance’ in St Lucia is reliant on patronage and clientelism, the removal of formal procedures of state, and/ or bypassed rules of conduct in favour of a personal style of rule.

Fast forward, the true vividness of Prime Minister Chastanet is illustrated by his unproductive verbal attacks on civilians, state institutions and democracy, with a personal style of rule.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau on October 9, 1971, said: “A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate. A society which eulogizes the average citizen is one which breads mediocrity.”

Nevertheless, aided by alternative facts with no transcendent value to project purpose and dynamism, Prime Minister Chastanet’s personal style, a transactional, trans-colonial leader is no stranger to handicapping the critical mix of competence, moral commitment and character that good leadership requires.

What’s more, the current dimension of our parliamentary democracy is repeatedly confronted with an elevated level of the absence of knowledge and fertile intellectual antimatter, magnified by the combined efforts of the prime minister and the speaker of the House of Assembly.

However, sensing the gravity at the sitting of the House of Assembly on Tuesday, April 4, the opposition St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) walked out after a motion to reverse changes to the citizenship by investment programme (CIP) was removed from the order paper.

But it is the personal style of rule and in an attempt to undermine and circumvent democracy that leaves few misapprehensions in the prime minister’s utterances:

“The wording of the motion in my mind was uncomfortable, it didn’t feel good going into the debate. Now those are things they want to bring up in the debate, they are free to bring it up in the debate but they can’t be written in a motion. The motion says whereas which suggests it is the fact.

“There is no fact that suggests because we lower the price that the programme has jeopardised the reputation or undermined the security of this country.

“In fact, if anything, they have been strengthened by new relationships we have gained through the regional security forces. So I want to assure everybody that’s the case. So I don’t understand the arguments they are making.

“The Labour Party has made threats like that many other times – this is an attempt at what I call ‘economic terrorism’ or even if you would want to go as far as to say, I would say to you ‘treason’ on their part.”

In turn, the SLP pledged to review every citizenship granted by the current government under the CIP, meanwhile calling for a review to the management of the CIP, claiming, the actions of the government are severely undermining the image and reputation of Saint Lucia and posing a security risk.

A clarification from the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CBIU) attempted to outline the conditions under which CIP decisions may be revoked, relying on the provisions of section 38 (1) of the Citizenship by Investment Act No.14 of 2015, but did not address the possibility of the law itself being changed, by this government or a new government.

Moreover, the combined efforts of CBIU and the senior communications officer in the office of the prime minister make for interesting reading in a Caribbean News Now article, St Lucia citizenship unit counters opposition pledge to review economic citizenships.

Former government minister, Richard Frederick, has also called on Prime Minister Chastanet to adhere to the economic citizenship law: Annual Report 24(1)… the minister shall not later than three months after the submission lay the same in Parliament.(2) Information contained in the report referred to in subsection (1) shall include – …the names, addresses and nationalities of successful applicants and any qualifying dependants included in the applications.

In fact, every one concerned about our democracy should focus on the Chastanet administration’s strategic repositioning, operational stereotype and projected purpose, not the least of which it is said that the Royal St Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) are still engaged in human rights abuses.

Alongside this, take into consideration political expediency, the disappearance of a free society and critical media (that parrot the news issued by government), history reveals the path is open for expansion of political corruption and kleptocracy.

In the current trends, it is believed, the prime minister’s presumptuous assertion of ‘economic terrorism’ and ‘treason’ shares a sense of kinship to an underlying ideology that apparently portrays Saint Lucia as just another profit over people operation (profit and loss statement, cost reports and balance sheet).

Shaping this thinking, the accompanying strategy and policy is part of the doctrine of rebranding and reallocating:

• Andre Chastanet – Chairman, East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Limited (ECFH)

• Andre Chastanet – Chairman of Bank of Saint Lucia

• Geoffrey DuBoulay – Board of Invest St Lucia

• Nicole DuBoulay – Human Resource Manager, Invest St Lucia

• Peter Devaux – Board of Invest St Lucia

• Ryan Devaux – Chairman of Citizenship by Investment (CIP)

“Proven Investments Limited (PIL) indicated today, March 13, that it has completed purchase of the Bank of St Lucia International Limited (BOSLIL) from East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Limited (ECFH).

“Simultaneous with the completion of the acquisition, PIL said it entered into a share sale agreement with Ryan Devaux, who has been head of BOSLIL since September 2005. Under that agreement, Devaux acquires 17.18 per cent of the shares of BOSLIL and PIL holds the remaining 82.82 per cent.”

• Richard Devaux – Chairman of Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA)

• Nicholas Barnard – Chairman of Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB)

• Nicholas Barnard – Investment Committee of National Insurance Corporation (NIC)

Stop for a minute and take a reality check on experiences that have traumatized the country, the mind, and domestic opposition when it comes to reviewing, reversing and/or stamping government policy, (CIP, DSH, Dolphin Park, national projects, and national budgets). There are lots of questions that play out as to what’s at stake in the equality of opportunity.

“Nepotism,” Eric Trump recently told Forbes, “is kind of a factor of life.

“We might be here because of nepotism, but we’re not still here because of nepotism.

“You know, if we didn’t do a good job, if we weren’t competent, believe me, we wouldn’t be in this spot.”

Desert Star Holdings Caribbean Limited (DSH), “Pearl of the Caribbean” Project, press release said:

“The project is intended to enhance Saint Lucia’s natural assets, and is sensitive to the principles of sustainable development which includes biodiversity preservation, environmental protection and respect for the eco-system.

“The Government and the Developer have agreed that the proposed Causeway will not be connected to Maria Islands and there will be a waterway separating Maria Islands from the Causeway. Meaning the two islands, Maria Major and Maria Minor, will remain detached from the development.

“The drawings shown at the March 9th 2017 ceremony are a preliminary artist impression and the concept is still being refined and changed in this ongoing exercise as the developer undertakes significant technical research on the area.”

How did all this happen? This is an indication that both DSH and the Chastanet administration’s orchestra of distraction, filled with their imprudent lying traps, suffered blowback from local and international concern.

But, according to Frederick, based on the DSH cash flow projections, they are targeting 9,106 passports, which at US$300,000 each will total over US$2.7 billion, more than what is required for the development.

“The Chinese are putting in nada (nothing),” he said, noting, “The cash flow statements are showing a minimum of 156 percent profit.”

For a lack of reform, the electoral apocalypse Saint Lucia finds itself in is a cruel hoax in the Chastanet administration’s negative implication on our history.

One universal goal reveals three transformations that equate to elections and democracy. First, the reconfiguration of policy; second, the merger of forces; and, third, formulate so-called re-alignments, incompatible with the structure of government that dramatically change the policy agenda.

Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant, a long-standing senior correspondent and a contributing columnist to Caribbean News Now. His areas of focus include political, economic and global security developments, and on the latest news and opinion. His philanthropic interests include advocating for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality. He contributes to special programming on Radio Free Iyanola, RFI 102.1FM and NewsNow Global analysis. He can be reached at [email protected]

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This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

12 comments

  1. Lost in continuous diatribes, this writer never seems to have anything positive to offer than his digital signature. What a waste of everybody's time. Is there something left in that confused brain other than negative criticism?

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  2. How can one logically super-impose strategic realignment where there is no obvious strategy in place? Such irrational opinions continue to get a pass as useful bases for discussion. This is just a lot of hot air.

    There is no strategy. Therefore, where is the strategy coming from that can be re-aligned? Such baseless illogicalities buried in big words go unnoticed by the uninitiated.

    (8)(0)
  3. Kenny's Rabid dog person

    If Chas gave sent the hook at you right this moment you would bite. They refused to use you as a candidate and they refused to take you in after the victory. The other side still doesn't want you.

    (5)(0)
  4. Hypocrites. When you come and tell me how many jobs and big positions SLP campaigners, friends, wives, mother, sister, brother , uncle and all the other hacks that you can imagine got in the last administration then you can talk. 99% of them were unqualified for all the positions they were given. talk about madness. up to now the government trying to clean their mess. they run to give contracts to every Tom Dick and Harry that was part of their brotherhood before elections. so tell me which is worst? putting friends in who might be competent or putting hacks in who know nothing at all.

    (8)(1)
    • Yes, hop, agreed.

      It seems endemic and independent of the party with the majority.

      It also seems endemic almost worldwide.

      I recently and very unexpectedly stumbled upon a LinkedIn member's profile, something about a new "St. Lucia National Party" that's apparently being pulled together, if it's true it will be interesting to see what, if anything, this apparently yet-to-be-soft-launched party brings to the table.

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  5. This clearly is among his better articles. It distills the incompetence that is posing as strategic thinking. A great screenshot. Unfortunately, in a semi-illiterate society as ours, there are just too many party faithfuls ready to pounce on the spoils. They are never able to grasp the big picture.

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    • Poule, you hit the nail on the head, in my opinion. This is as you say. a "big picture" discussion.

      It transcends party lines and boils down to the future of where all of us want to take our nation.

      (4)(0)
  6. All i see is they rich getting richer while the poor is being distracted by "fighting for de party" but i won't change because Politics is too indoctrinated into our thinking.

    (4)(2)
  7. This is what happens when you have a plutocrat as head of state. Where is our pride Saint Lucians? Name me one European country with a black man/woman as prime minister or president? Name one country where the majority of its people will vote for someone different from them? People get the government they deserve. What else do you expect?

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    • Jacques, the use of the word "plutocrat" is not arguable.

      However, the race card needlessly muddies the issue of a leader's competence.

      In the context of the abilities of our head of state, the terms "black", "white", "pride", each and ensemble "someone different from them" have the unfortunately intolerant sense of racism. Plain and simple.

      Imagine what the white folk were saying when Tiger Woods became the world's top golfer. Imaging what the black folk were saying when Eminem became the word's top rap artist.

      Leadership is not about race. Yes, you are right, it's about pride. Pride transcends is a matter of the heart. It is blind to race.

      I think that we've now sufficiently covered that.

      Moving on...

      Melanius:

      --- Agreed, 100% --- and very nicely stated in a succinct, non-partisan manner. Your points were particularly brought home with your use of direct quotes. Quotes cannot be denied. Quotes are powerful in what they are. And it is sometimes bordering on pathetic when watching someone, when presented with their quotes, colloquially squirming and trying to proverbially back-pedal at the very evident expense of what credibility they may have had.

      --- There is a U.S.-based network that has a weeknight show, "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah". He has a lot of fun covering Trump on weeknights. http://www.cc.com/shows/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah
      One shakes one's head thinking about how much fun Trevor Noah could have making a meal out of some of the things that our government says/does.

      --- Keep up the good work.

      p.s. Like the effective use of bullets to distill and highlight the key points.

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    • most of the people deserve chastanet because they voted for him. just like the slp deserve what they are getting. enjoy being governed by the uwp for a long time. I love that the slp and the writer are so distraught over what is happening. st lucia is finally moving in the right direction and not stuck in the mud.

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