PRESS RELEASE — The United Workers’ Party is deeply concerned that the good name of Saint Lucia continues to be dragged through the mud as a result of the actions of a stubborn and uncaring Prime Minister and Government.
The ruling by Justice Anthony Hayden in the British High Court echoes the sentiment of several learned people on this matter and indeed the fears of the UWP.
In relation to the appointment of Dr. Walid Juffali as Saint Lucia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation Justice Hayden said; “I am satisfied that what has transpired here is that [Dr. Juffali] has sought and obtained a diplomatic appointment with the sole intention of defeating [Estrada’s] claims consequent on the breakdown of their marriage. Dr. Juffali has not, in any real sense, taken up his appointment, nor has he discharged any responsibilities in connection with it. It is an entirely artificial construct.”
The fact that Dr. Juffali’s counsel has indicated that he will appeal the ruling means that St. Lucia will continue to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The importance of this matter to Saint Lucia is not about any legal or diplomatic precedent. It is about holding up the Labour Party’s end of the bargain to Dr. Juffali in exchange for what, Saint Lucians are still asking.
There is no apparent benefit to Saint Lucia so the question continues to be asked – Who benefited and how?
It is therefore time that the outgoing Kenny Anthony regime bites the bullet and suspends Dr. Juffali’s appointment until such time as the civil suit against him is settled. It is time to protect the good name of Saint Lucia and not Dr. Juffali.
The fact is that the Juffali Affair, together with the Government’s failure to act on the IMPACS Report and the unresolved murder cases of British citizens could cause serious diplomatic repercussions to Saint Lucia such as the imposition of visa restrictions to the UK.
It is not too late to try to repair the damage to the reputation of St. Lucia in the UK and in international diplomatic circles. The UWP is therefore calling yet again on Kenny Anthony and the Government to do right by Saint Lucia by doing the right thing.