With less than two weeks before the next general election, the United Workers Party (UWP) has issued a challenge to Chairman of Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Claudius Francis, to do a background check to ensure that none of the SLP candidates have ever been accused of or charged with rape.
UWP Chairman, Guy Mayers, issued the challenge on Sunday during the launch of Political leader of the UWP and Candidate for Micoud South, Allen Chastanet, where hundreds of supporters were in attendance.
Mayers said, “I extend a challenge to the Chairman of the SLP to ensure that now that you have presented your slate of candidates that you present nobody among your mates that has ever been charged or accused of rape. We want to ensure ladies and gentlemen that the men and women, who become the ministers of government of this country, are honourable men and women.”
The former National Security Minister said from his own background checks, none of candidates from the UWP have ever been accused of anything close to that and he also used the opportunity to warn them that if the party were ever to find out that they did “anything out of the way,” that they shall be dismissed forthwith.
“Because we take governing of this country, very, very seriously…This is to ensure the safety of everyone’s children, because your children and yourself will be going to their offices to seek help and support, and you want to ensure that my children, your children, our parents, are safe when they go into those offices,” he remarked.
A few minutes after Mayer’s statement, Member of Parliament (MP) for Castries South East, Guy Joseph, joined in, expanding on the issue. He stated that he has been personally told that certain candidates of the SLP have allegedly been involved or in some cases accused of sexual crimes.
“It is easy for Kenny Anthony to get on a platform and call us all kinds of names, when he assembles his set of candidates…Some of the candidates of the SLP have sexual harassment letters lodging files against them. If Kenny Anthony did his background check on them, before he named them as candidates, he would know,” the former UWP government minister alleged.
He continued with further allegations: “There is another one of them from one of the…., who messed up the minds of some young people. But today they are candidates for the SLP. Why you think Kenny Anthony called the election so quickly? Because he realize the longer he waits the more trouble he is in. He will have to ‘de-endorse’ some of the candidates chosen to run for the SLP.”
Joseph said he refuses to stand by and say nothing about it, especially when people from his constituency and around Saint Lucia, have expressed some level of fear that these same persons who have been allegedly accused of sexual crimes are now running for high public office.
He claims that attempts were also made to set him up, stating, “I know they have sent many women my way, but tell them I’m better than that.”
The MP said now that he has exposed ‘certain people’, they will most likely want to take him to court after the elections. But Joseph said he has a list of 28 persons who are alleged victims.