United Workers Party Leader (UWP) Allen Chastanet has accused Housing Minister Stanley Felix of attempting to intimidate Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Victoria Charles-Clarke, calling such actions “weapons of mass distraction” from the troubling issues affecting St. Lucia.
Felix, while addressing a Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) rally at the Castries Market, called on the DPP to resign or retire if she is unable to do what’s “just and right” in the interest of the country as it relates to acting on the IMPACS report and an investigation into the town and village councils report against former UWP members.
In an interview with St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today, Nov. 26, Chastanet said Felix and his government have “lost sight of their respect for the citizens of this country”.
Chastanet compared Felix’s rant with that of Senate President Claudius Francis who claimed earlier this year that some police officers and the UWP are plotting to overthrow the government. Chastanet said Francis went as far as incriminating magistrates in his allegation.
The UWP leader pointed out that the DPP’s office is constitutionally protected from government interference, yet this “government continues to fool the people”.
Chastanet pointed out that the constituency report was commissioned by Cabinet and was laid before the House of Parliament before it was vetted by the auditor general or any independent body.
“The DPP is not an investigation arm of government. It is the one that takes the evidence and determines if it can be presented before the court…. How can the DPP react to a report that has not come through the proper channels? Did it go though the auditor general? Was it sent to police department?”
Chastanet said the government handled the IMPACS report in a similar way.
“So whose going to determine the veracity of the claims, who is going to confirm the evidence they have?” he questioned.
The UWP mentioned the case government brought against him – and lost.
“They could not even bring a criminal charge. They brought it in civil court where the bar of proof is even lower and they lost the case. They are now appealing…” he said.
Chastanet said the government continues to bypass the proper channels of justice. He said Cabinet is not the judge and jury of St. Lucia, “but they continue to act like they are”.
He said Felix’s comments are the continuation of the government’s “nonsense, intimidation and victimization”.
Chastanet said the comments by Felix and other frivolous claims by the government are just “weapons of mass distraction”.
“They are trying to get off the fact that we have a serious situation going on in St. Lucia where crime is out of control, an economy where there is no hope, and the reputation of this nation is being torn apart…. What is going on is criminal and they don’t get it,” he added.