The Saint Lucia Labour Party has noted the statements made by former Senator and Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jimmy Henry, indicating that he was resigning for “personal reasons” and by the statement by Acting Prime Minister Hon. Ezekiel Joseph accepting the resignation.
The SLP wishes to point out that under the Constitution, neither an acting PM nor Cabinet has the power or authority to accept the resignation of a Minister and therefore the acceptance by Hon. Ezekiel Joseph is null and void.
The SLP believes that the people of Saint Lucia require a full and unambiguous explanation on what transpired with the former Minister. Indeed, there has been neither a proper response nor denial to the fact that Mr. Henry was briefly detained and questioned at the GFL Airport whilst en route to a neighbouring Caribbean island. The SLP considers it highly unusual and unprecedented that the Prime Minister, already armed with the requisite information, chose not to address the nation on this serious matter before he proceeded on vacation leave.
Just as curious and unprecedented was the casual manner in which the government dismissed the story as fake news with the Acting Commissioner of Police seemingly suggesting that there was no issue or cause for concern with the activities of the Minister. Yet, barely a day later, the Minister resigns.
The SLP believes that the conduct of a Minister and the use of privileges afforded to a Minister must always be above board and held to the highest standards. Accordingly, the Prime Minister must address the allegations made against the then Minister and his subsequent “resignation with immediate effect”. This is not a personal matter but instead one which impacts on the country’s national security.