Chastanet says it’s time to cut Juffali loose!
Apress release from the offices of the United Workers’ Party on Friday urged Prime Minister Kenny Anthony to “do the right thing and revoke Dr. Walid Juffali’s diplomatic status in the best interests of Saint Lucia.” The release referenced “the further damage to the island’s overseas image” caused by the fall-out from the world-wide media coverage the Juffali issue has attracted, “nearly all of it at Saint Lucia’s expense.”
The UWP recalled its earlier warning of the possible consequences in international diplomatic circles if the government maintained its intransigence on the issue of Dr. Juffali’s widely disputed diplomatic immunity. The release quoted party leader Allen Chastanet as saying there would be a price to pay for the Kenny Anthony administration’s stubbornness in the face of well-intentioned advice.
A UWP government will do the right thing for the people of Saint Lucia, Friday’s release promised, “by dispensing with the non-performing Dr. Juffali and replacing him as our representative at the International Maritime Organization with a qualified and caring Saint Lucian.” The party also promised, if elected to office, “to get to the bottom of why and how Juffali’s appointment was made.”
The Saudi’s appointment remains shrouded in mystery, noted the UWP in its release. “It was never announced to the Saint Lucian people and continues to be afforded zero transparency.” Besides: “Our party continues to contend that Dr. Juffali’s appointment was calculatedly kept secret until it was exposed by a London newspaper.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London appealed in vain to the Saint Lucia government to suspend Dr. Juffali’s diplomatic immunity so that his wife might have the opportunity to place her divorcesettlement case before a British court, noted Friday’s release.
“The matter was nevertheless heard,” the communiqué points out, “and Dr. Juffali’s appointment declared ‘spurious,’ and an ‘artificial construct’ designed solely to serve his determination to avoid the suit brought by his ex-wife. The judge also acknowledged Dr. Juffali’s failure to carry out any of the duties of his office.”
While Dr. Juffali’s lawyers have appealed the judge’s decision, said the release finally, “it is time to attempt a restoration of Saint Lucia’s once proud reputation. Especially in these difficult times, with our struggling economy, rising crime and a reputation for denying citizens their constitutional and human rights, the UWP is determined to correct the situation. We are confident these challenges can be overcome for the benefit of all Saint Lucians.”