“Base­less Ac­cu­sa­tions with­out Sub­stan­tive ev­i­dence”- UWP re­sponds to SLP Cries for At­ten­tion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

An­gel­ica O’DonoghueHolder

“The SLP is used to mak­ing wild ac­cu­sa­tions with­out any sub­stan­tive ev­i­dence.’’ This was the sen­ti­ment shared by UWP com­mu­ni­ca­tion of­fi­cer Nancy Charles as she spoke out against the SLP’s as­ser­tion about the il­le­gal­ity of the school bur­sary dis­tri­bu­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the Saint Lu­cia Labour Party, its mem­bers claim to be “dis­turbed and con­cerned that the dis­tri­bu­tion of th­ese funds has com­menced ab­sent of the in­volve­ment of our six (6) sit­ting Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment.”

The re­lease in­cluded men­tion that it was com­mon prac­tice for the dis­burse­ment of funds to be made through the elected Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, which has not taken place this time. Con­tact with the SLP’s Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment was also not ad­hered to, as in­di­cated by the SLP’s pub­lic re­la­tions machin­ery.

With the SLP’s non­in­volve­ment in the yearly school bur­sary dis­tri­bu­tion, it now seeks ret­ri­bu­tion, claim­ing that the process is un­fair and il­le­gal.

“Th­ese ac­tions by the govern­ment are not only dis­crim­i­na­tory and un­law­ful but, in ad­di­tion, they seek to rel­e­gate the duly elected Saint Lu­cia Labour Party’s Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment whilst pro­mot­ing the failed UWP can­di­dates,” Wed­nes­day’s press re­lease re­vealed.

The SLP’s cries did not end there. The re­lease went on to note that the Short Term Em­ploy­ment Pro­gramme (STEP) has recom­menced and again the SLP main­tains that its elected Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment were side­lined.

How­ever, the UWP lead ad­min­is­tra­tion has come out to dis­miss the claims aired by the SLP. Nancy Charles, UWP com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer and at­taché to the Prime Min­is­ter, as­serts that the SLP’s claims are ‘base­less ac­cu­sa­tions’.

“Ev­ery time the SLP is in op­po­si­tion they refuse to par­tic­i­pate in any govern­ment ac­tiv­i­ties just to ac­cuse the govern­ment of sidelin­ing them,” the frus­trated com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer com­mented.

She pro­ceeded to ex­plain the for­mat of the bur­sary dis­tri­bu­tion.

“No one who re­ceives as­sis­tance from the govern­ment is asked to show a party card. We have peo­ple who go di­rectly to SSDF for as­sis­tance and have been given as­sis­tance. In speak­ing to the SSDF, they will tell you that even be­fore the bur­sary they have been giv­ing sup­port to needy peo­ple and that has not changed. So I think the Labour Party should first make re­quest as­sis­tance (sic) for the needy peo­ple and if they are asked what party they sup­port, then they should take the mat­ter up. But in the mean­time Saint Lu­cians are very grate­ful for the sup­port given at this crit­i­cal time in prepa­ra­tions for back to school,” Mrs. Charles spec­i­fied to the STAR news­pa­per.

The com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer dev­illed fur­ther to dis­pel the ac­cu­sa­tion of elected mem­bers’ po­lit­i­cal marginal­i­sa­tion by in­di­cat­ing that it is not the Govern­ment’s re­spon­si­bil­ity but that of the SSDF to in­form all par­lia­men­tar­i­ans. “It is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of SSDF to in­form all par­lia­men­tar­i­ans of the on­go­ing sup­port and me­chan­ics of im­ple­men­ta­tion,” Mrs. Charles ex­plained.

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