Castries, Saint Lucia, Wednesday November 17, 2021: – Saint Lucia’s opposition leader Allen Chastanet was deprived of his emoluments yesterday for the more than 100 days he has not attended the three sessions of the national parliament since the general elections on July 26.
Chastanet, the island’s former prime minister, was sworn in as the elected deputy for Micoud Sud at the fourth sitting of the House of Assembly yesterday since the Labor Party of Saint Lucia (SLP) won the last general election with a nice 13-4, which morphed into a parliamentary majority of 15-2, with the two independents siding with the SLP government.
But hardly was he Sworn-in President Claudius Francis intervened with a lengthy presentation on the former prime minister’s prolonged absence, the reasons and explanations, and how they were communicated.
President Francis also cited Erskine & May, the authoritative parliamentary publication, and drew on Trinidad and Tobago precedents, to argue that in the absence of certain provisions, the President has the power to determine withholding of the emoluments of Members of Parliament in certain circumstances.
Arguing that UK parliamentary practice can also be used, the President went on to advocate broadly for the state not to pay the former Prime Minister for the time he was absent from parliament and did not take office. .
After presenting his case, the President concluded that Mr. Chastanet should not be paid as leader of the opposition for the duration of his absence.
He also ruled that while the Leader of the Opposition’s “personal emoluments” will be affected, his constituency allowance, on which the employees and the rental of his constituency office depend, will be paid.
President Francis also indicated that he had met with the deputy for Micoud Sud on the issue and that the deputy has until November 30 to respond.
In the meantime, Mr. Chastanet is deprived of parliamentary salary for the more than 100 days he spent abroad after being elected by the constituency of Micoud Sud to sit in the 17-member House of Assembly.
Views of the publication: