News, Top Story

Chastanet Doubtful Of Fair Hearing Before Privileges Committee

Allen Chastanet
Allen Chastanet

Opposition leader Allen Chastanet believes he will not receive a fair hearing when he makes an appearance before the House of Assembly Privileges Committee after being summoned earlier this week.

The Micoud South Member of Parliament was summoned to appear before the Privileges Committee on account of two separate complaints filed against him by two members of the governing side namely Castries Central MP, Richard Frederick regarding his visit to the United States, and Castries South MP, Dr Ernest Hilaire over claims he had a joint account with Wahid Jufalli, deceased Saudi billionaire.

Chastanet is the first parliamentary representative in the annals of Saint Lucian politics to be summoned before a ‘disciplinary committee’ of the Lower House.

“I feel this is all very new….and the more responsible thing to do is to sit back and reflect,” declared Chastanet, on his preparedness for the committee hearing.

“I am certainly in contact with a legal counsel…and to understand myself what is happening here,” he added.

Referring to the notion of ‘Natural Justice’ the Micoud South MP stated that, “There is a thing called natural justice, of which every citizen of our country can judge for themselves.”

Noting his resentment to the Privileges Committee procedure, he declared that it was rather absurd that he would be exonerated, “going into a situation where I am going to be judged by my peers in parliament, of which the majority of persons on that panel are going to be from the Labour Party. And to believe that we’ve reached a point of maturity in our life where persons can de-robe themselves of their loyalty and dedication to the Labour Party, and to sit objectively and listen to what the claims are.”

Chastanet states that with other MPs, in the persons of Richard Frederick, Joachim Henry and Hilaire on the board, he does not stand a chance of being judged fairly. The Board also includes Chastanet and his UWP parliamentary colleague Bradley Felix, while the head of the Privileges Committee is House Speaker Claudius Francis.

House Speaker, Claudius Francis
House Speaker, Claudius Francis

In an effort to substantiate his claims, the Opposition Leader declared: “To think at this point that the vote coming out of that Committee and more than likely the vote coming out of Parliament, anything other than down party lines, then we have an understanding of where this thing is heading.”

According to house regulations, the Committee of Privileges acts as the Parliament’s disciplinary board and adjudicates on matters that go against the Standing Orders of the House of Assembly.

Chastanet has asked that the hearing, which was scheduled for next Thursday be adjourned due to travel arrangements he had that would have placed him outside Saint Lucia. He said he wrote Francis requesting the adjournment.

The opposition leader contends that Hilaire’s action contravened a breach of the Financial Act and that he (Hilaire) must be held accountable for his alleged misdeeds.

Chastanet feels strongly that due justice will not be served with his appearance before the Privileges Committee. He argued that it would have to entail an exercise of ‘Natural Justice’ for him to be exonerated.

He added: “I am currently reviewing the situation and I certainly will have a lot more to say about this after I have gotten advice from my legal team.”


  1. It is believed that Fredrick is a Lawyer and perhaps not the only one in the House. It is also believed that opposition to Chastanet is not so much as a politician, but mainly because of his wealth and the colour of his skin. Richard Fredrick has taken him to task for his utterance in the House, concerning Fredrick’s three or seven day visit in the United States, and other spoken matters concerning Mr. Hilliare. It is sad today what one can and should say within the confines of the House. It was not difficult for Fredrick to find like minded companion with Axes to grind, to help with the burning issue to grind Chastanet with some quasi legal stuff, be it in the House or at Magistrate Court. The evil intent of the matter is, with the majority in the House, their appointments in key positions, and Legally, Chastanet don’t stand a chance. Fredrick has his underlings, beaten into submission to do his willing; his vindictiveness, racism and hatred toward Chastanet, with a politically divided St. Lucia, that spells trouble, one with a great social unrest, at a time with such high criminal upsurge on the Island. You can count on one thing, goodbye to your Tourist Industry and Investment of any kind; mass unemployment which creates more crime, Qualified Professionals leaving for better pay, a safer environment, better living conditions for their kids future, better medical and housing too. The M.P. for Castries assumes Center Stage for his showdown with ‘One Man’ that is to show the St. Lucia public ‘who is really Boss’ the prelude of course, trade mark for dictatorship. If this thing is allowed to get out of hand, look out, I can visualize a blood bath in the Streets of Castries. He is an undisciplined, frustrated little man, and the Police have their work cut out, and not for one day. Who can talk to this man, who thinks he knows it all? who before things turn sour and the livelihood of so many at stake can reason with him? how can you run a Government in this manner? let us see if Phillip J.Pierre is the real man for this job; time will tell; but in the mean time, all St. Lucia should begin to pray louder; the Good Lord hears and answers to all Prayer, Amen.

  2. Pwa duvante avane duvant pwa.

    This seems to be the modus operandi of robbers of the people, who strive to gain a seat in government to harness power only to rule over the people with force, violence and malfeasance:

    To fill their pockets with the spoils of the poor.

    Like the thief who snatched the old woman’s purse and took off running, shouting Bushay-ai! Baway-ai! Voleur! Bushayei Bawsyei!
    A crowd, unaware of the trick; joins shouting the same thing;

    not realizing that the one pointing the finger of criticism has three fingers pointing back at him.

    Study well politicians who enter the race for office ( despite copious evidence of their crooked dealings against the nation )

    crying –
    If I don’t win the seat, it is because they “stole” the votes; thus , paving the way for the demolition derby they hope to unleash on the security and peace of all the people..

    Therefore, to level the claim that the charges against the former Prime Minister is racist and a personal vendetta carried out by the prosecution is blatantly snatching the peoples purse and running away shouting

    Voleur! Voleur! Boushay-ei! Baway-ei!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend