“There is something odd, awkward and immoral in the appointment of Juffali as ambassador” – Chastanet

By Samuel Sukhnandan, Staff Reporter

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UWP Leader Allen Chastanet

UWP Leader Allen Chastanet

Political Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) Allen Chastanet has chastised the Kenny Anthony Administration over the appointment of Saudi billionaire Dr. Walid Juffali as the country’s diplomatic representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Chastanet told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an exclusive interview today (Nov. 13) that he is extremely concerned about the revelations made by the article in the Telegraph newspaper in the UK and said he finds that the government’s response to the issue leaves more questions than answers.

The political leader said that his party is concerned that this recent issue could undermine the credibility of the recently launched Citizenship By Investment Programme, which is due to take effect in 2016, and he strongly believes that it could jeopardize the reputation of Saint Lucia internationally.

Chastanet said it has been a long-standing policy that the High Commissioner is the one who represents Saint Lucia at the IMO meetings and conferences. He is therefore questioning the government’s move to appoint the Saudi philanthropist and businessman to this post.

“Why was this change made and one would of thought if in fact you are going to change that policy it would have been for a person with tremendous amount of experience in maritime affairs to the benefit of Saint Lucia. But here we are seeing that Mr. Juffali has no experience in maritime affairs,” he explained.

Chastanet said he finds it odd that Juffali’s appointment came after the court case began in the UK, where his former wife decided to launch civil proceedings against him.

“Didn’t government due diligence pick that up and recognise that there would a potential conflict and this would have been putting us in an embarrassing situation with the British government and the British courts?” he questioned.

The lawyers for the former wife of Juffali have requested the Government of Saint Lucia to lift the diplomatic immunity of Juffali to compel him to testify in the civil suit. But the government has expressed the view that it does not desire to get involved.

Meanwhile, Chastanet told SNO that he was reliably informed that there were 27 meetings and conferences since Juffali has been appointed as the ambassador, but said Saint Lucia was not represented at any of these meetings.

“So it gives further evidence that there is something odd, awkward and immoral in the appointment of Juffali as ambassador,” the former UWP government minister noted.

Asked what he thinks about the public being made aware of Juffali’s appointment to the IMO through the article in the Telegraph newspaper, Chastanet said unfortunately it is not the first time that Saint Lucians have been left in the dark.

“We learnt about ALBA through the media. We learnt about Saint Lucia’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth Games through the media. We learnt about Grynberg, Rocohmel and NCA after the fact,” he added.

Chastanet said everyone now has to start questioning the ability of Dr. Kenny Anthony to remain as prime minister of Saint Lucia and whether he has the peoples interest at heart.

“He has been an abomination and a complete failure. He has accumulated over $2 billion of debt to the country and we have little to show for it. And he has been playing with the reputation of Saint Lucia on a continual basis.”

(28)(15)
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20 comments

  1. my concerns are that The government seems to be more more than friendly with an oppressive Country like Saudi Arabia this is a country which sponsors terrorism, their human rights record is appalling.
    women are marginalised, women are not allowed to drive cars,women are not allowed to socialised in the same room as men. i understand that Juffali relations is Saint Lucia's consul in Saudi Arabia.
    another one with diplomatic status on behalf of Saint Lucia.

    (2)(0)
  2. As far as the leader of the SLP is concerned, he can do anything
    he likes, morally or immorally they don't really care. They're only
    concerned about the next pay. They will defend him to the death.
    It shows you that they have no trade or profession to fall back on
    so it's do or die. St. Lucia can go to hell as long as the opportunity is
    there to be as unscrupulous as possible, bag some$ while the
    going is good. It is said in the news, that the biggest financiers of
    some terrorists are the billionaires of Soudi Arabia. For me I would
    prefer to stay the hell away from these guys with all their money
    and keep St.Lucia clean. 27 meetings of the IMO and the Honourable
    Knight was too preoccupied with other matters and pushed St.Lucia's
    business aside? if a Lucian did that, he would be fired instantly. Yet we
    have Kenney's boys talking about Allen spending money; is that all you
    all have to say? well how much are you all paying that Fat Lawyer to
    fight Grynsburg for that Lawsuit and who O.K'd the deal? don't let me
    start. There'll be lots of time soon to answer a lot of questions on spending.

    (5)(0)
  3. Remember when taxpayers asked chastanet about the amount of taxpayers money was being spent in airline deals. Outright he refused. How many years was he chased to pay UWP dues?
    Their value systems have eroded and they can't see pass Chastanet's wealth. Has he ever outlined his strategy to improve on the fiscal situation? No. Why because he's made of nothing but a big ego, backed by his dad's wealth. Those who expect to be made better wealth wise, think again.

    (9)(17)
  4. So you see how the Labour Party goons work; attack their leader
    and they are all ready to counter attack. They are not responding to
    questions asked, but putting up a smoke screen to defend the boss.
    The main question of this man seeking ambassadorial appointment
    is too much to go into right now, but you will hear more of it shortly.
    This man must be fired forthwith.
    Dr. Kenny Anthony must resign right now.

    (23)(3)
  5. Can I ask a question? Kenny is going to London....I wonder why....????? Fishy fishy business

    (18)(2)
  6. And another hack!!!

    (4)(3)
  7. and his daughter is also a diplomat for st. lucia in the consul in saudi arabia....family affair scratch my back and i'll scratch yours.

    (19)(1)
  8. Let us rework Chastanet's words:

    “We learnt about the Black Bay Lands through the media (when all fall down). We learnt about Saint Lucia’s payment of over a million dollars for tents through the media. We learnt about the cost of Boxing in Paradise, Hepple's salary and Taiwanese money after the fact,” he added.

    A thoroughly clueless individual.

    (7)(18)
  9. How can Chastanet's people cry foul when a billionaire is attracted to St. Lucia? What they should be doing is finding out how much money he intends to invest in St. Lucia. Can he attract others like himself ? So you will attack the man because of a personal issue?

    These Chastanet people still will not explain or show remorse for the tens of millions lost by Chastanet's incompetence and cluelessness with the Black Bay lands and the Hepple Affair and the Boxing in Paradise. And let us not touch on the tens of millions unaccounted for by the UWP Administration of which all these characters were a part.

    Chastanet on balance has not shown himself to be a leader outside of the hacks he attracts around him or capable of generating employment or healing any wounds within the UWP. His negatives widely outweigh his positives of which the main one seems to be his quest for power.

    The UWP, the country, our women, our youth and our men are all in trouble if this man child with his pathetic record comes to power.

    (10)(23)
  10. the more things change themore they stay the same.....

    (5)(1)
  11. CHASTANET GO FIX YOUR PARTY BEFORE YOU COME AND TALK SHIT!!!!!!

    (4)(22)
  12. It is so sad that the Labour Party Government has no consideration and respect for the St. Lucian people who they claim to represent. To put a Saudi billionaire in a position that he is not qualified for so that he can gain diplomatic immunity, so his (ex)wife cannot take him to court. I wonder what the government got in return for his appointment as diplomat.... And to make things worse he has not attended one meeting. NOT ONE!!! I am truly so saddened and disappointed by this SLP government.

    (36)(7)
  13. Hepple anyone? $400 thousand salary and still exempted from paying work permit fee. Chasnet has no right to talk. His memory is too short

    (18)(36)
  14. Theres also something odd awkward and immoral about Mr Chastenet talking about St Lucians being left in the dark. In my view this issue pales in comparison to the highly paid Hepple who did nothing of tangible benefit to bring tourists to our shores while Mr Chastenet himself spent millions to pay airlines and other useless ventures.

    (13)(29)
    • I your comments is the reason why we as st lucia is going nowhere and politicians will continue to spat in our eyes. Yes heple cost money but every tom dick Harry new of his appointment but how many of you who are so blinded by colour new of this so called ambassador and how many of us would ever no if it didn't come out in a scandal in the british press. Please people we a doing a terrible wrong to ourself by trying to justify wrong with wrong.

      (19)(1)
    • If you guys have nothing constructive to say you should just shut up and stop defending a corrupt SLP Administration. How do you make a comparison to the salary that was paid to Hepple, and the monies that were paid to American Airlines? At least there was a degree of transparency and Saint Lucians were able to get a direct flight from the United States to Hewanorra International Airport without having to overnight in Miami. That deal by Kenny Anthony was done in secret and had it not been for an article in the British press that fiasco would not have been made public.

      (21)(1)
      • The point I was making is whether Mr Chastenet himself ever showed St Lucian's that he wanted to keep them informed. He was blatantly arrogant and now pretends to care so much about the country. This as far as I read is far from being a scandal. You're only wishing that it was. This is a private matter. St Lucia will lose nothing from this storm in a teacup.

        (1)(20)

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