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St Lucia opposition political leader demands apology from senate president
Published on February 15, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Caribbean News Now contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- In an ironic turn of events, lawyers for the political leader of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) in Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet, have reportedly written to local radio talk show host and president of the senate, Claudius Francis, demanding an apology for reading what is claimed to be a fictitious letter purportedly written by Chastanet to Arsene James, the UWP member of parliament for the constituency of Micoud South.

Allen Chastanet
In October last year, the UWP said it stood firmly with Timothy Poleon -- another local radio and TV journalist -- and the media in general against legal action then threatened by minister for legal affairs, home affairs and national security, Phillip La Corbiniere, in relation to a Caribbean News Now article that Poleon had also simply read out on air.

“Over the last few weeks, Saint Lucians have watched and listened as ministers target specific media workers in an effort to intimidate and instill fear in them by the issuance of threats,” the UWP said at the time.

James has since denied that Chastanet wrote the letter to him and said he was disappointed that Francis would read a fictitious letter over the air instead of carrying out an investigation into its authenticity.

Claudius Francis
However, on Friday morning, Francis seemed to be unaware of any communication from Chastanet’s attorneys, and he referred instead to a press release issued by the UWP claiming that he (Francis) had read the disputed letter on air for the sole purpose of embarrassing Chastanet.

In fact, according to Francis, the proper thing for Chastanet to have done was to write to him (Francis) demanding a retraction and an apology, failing which further action would be taken, and not to issue a press release.

“Let me go further and tell you, I have all of the drafts of that letter, not just the final one… all of the drafts. I have them in sequential order and I challenge Mr Chastanet to write to me asking me to withdraw the letter and on Wednesday I will come to read another letter,” Francis said.


According to the digital properties of the Word file made available online, the author of the document in question is shown as “James, Thomas” (see image above).

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