Castries, Saint Lucia – September 26, 2013 – In the August 26, 2013 Extra Ordinary Issue of the Gazette of Saint Lucia, the United Workers Party notes that the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Acted as Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs for the period August 23-28, 2013.
Our information confirms that during that period, the Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Emma Hippolyte was out of state on official business approved by the Prime Minister. In fact, based on information from a reliable source in the United States, Minister Hippolyte attended a number of meetings in her capacity as Minister with a number of State institutions and organizations.
The United Workers Party is baffled by the need for Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony to assume the office of Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs while Minister Hippolyte was overseas conducting legitimate business in her capacity as Minister. It is also important to note that according to our information, Minister Hippolyte was not on vacation or medical leave.
As a result of these perplexed events, the United Workers Party wants the Prime Minister to provide answers to the following questions:
1. Is it a new policy of this Labour Administration for the Prime Minister to act as Minister for any Minister who travels overseas on Government business?
2. If the Prime Minister assumes a Minister’s portfolio, does the Minister who has travelled have full Ministerial responsibilities, authority and privileges while overseas?
3. Do we expect to see the Prime Minister assume other portfolios when other Ministers travel on official Government business?
4. Given that this Prime Minister has not assumed the portfolio of any of his Ministers in the past when they travelled on Official Government business, can he tell us why he found it necessary to act for Emma Hippolyte in this instance or was she technically fired as Minister for the period August 23-28, 2013?
We await a response so that Saint Lucians may better understand the policy direction of this Administration with respect to the status of Government Ministers when they travel on official Government Business.