PRESS RELEASE – The Unitedpac is deeply concerned over the appointment of former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Dr. Ernest Hillaire, as Chairman of the controversial Citizenship by Investment Programme.
We are indeed curious over the motivation for the abrupt termination of Dr. Hillaire’s tenure in the United Kingdom and his subsequent appointment as Chairman of the Citizenship by Investment Programme in Saint Lucia.
The UNITEDPAC is suspicious over what appears to be an accommodation to facilitate Dr. Hillaire’s presence on the island to coincide with the commencement of the St Lucia Labour Party’s campaign for the next General Elections. Dr. Hillaire is a well-known senior operative of the SLP who has been instrumental in engineering the Party’s campaign strategies in the past.
We are extremely concerned that Dr. Hillaire’s association with the Citizenship by Investment programme could compromise the integrity of the programme. Unitedpac reiterates its position that the appointment of persons to senior positions within programmes like the CIP should be void of political biases. Recent revelations regarding Dr. Hillaire’s role in the unfolding scandal surrounding the appointment of Dr. Wallid Juffali only amplifies concerns over his association with the Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Concerns over how the Billionaire Dr. Juffali came to be appointed as an Ambassador representing St Lucia on a UN organization that he is in no way qualified for, coupled with Dr. Hillaire’s close association with the St Lucia Labour Party raises serious questions which cannot go unanswered. As such Unitedpac remains uneasy that revenue generated from the Citizens by Investment Programme would not in any way find purpose as a “pot
of gold” at the end of a red rainbow. We therefore call on the St Lucia Labour Party Government to allay prevailing fears by addressing the following concerns:
1. What measures are in place to ensure that revenue generated from the CIP cannot be diverted to non-state beneficiaries.
2. Safeguards that the CIP negotiating and prospecting processes will be insulated from manipulation by way of “kick backs” to secure favor. Finally, the Unitedpac is urging Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony that in order to salvage the integrity of the CIP that he relieves Dr. Ernest Hillaire from the post of Chairman of the programme.
This is due to Dr. Hillaire’s direct and strong connection as a senior operative of the St Lucia Labour Party and growing concerns/questions surrounding his role in the questionable appointment of Dr. Walid Juffali as an Ambassador and St Lucia’s representative on the International Maritime Organization.
We expect that the Government will do what is required in earnest to safeguard the integrity of the Citizens by Investment Programme and to repair the damage, which has already been inflicted.