The Opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party [SLP] does not trust Economic Development Minister Guy Joseph.
Leader of the Opposition Philip J. Pierre along with Castries South MP Dr. Ernest Hilaire bluntly told reporters during a December 15 press conference of the Party’s extreme lack of confidence in the embattled government Minister.
The Opposition argues that Joseph has lost further moral authority after whistleblowers published 30 Direct Award contracts signed by the Minister in one business day. While the Opposition concedes the legislative latitude afforded to the Executive, the sheer volume of Direct Awards issued in one day has raised eyebrows among the SLP rank-and-file.
The Opposition believes the move, which has been defended by Infrastructure Minister Stephenson King, has further undermined public confidence in Minister Joseph.
Guy Joseph has been named as a person of interest by a United States investigation into American businessman Antonio Assenza and his Saint Lucia based construction firm Asphalt & Mining.
Joseph who previously served as Minister for Communications and Works from 2006 – 2011 is alleged to have colluded with Assenza and senior management at the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority [SLASPA] in an attempt to secure a multimillion-dollar airport redevelopment contract.
Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has categorically denied the allegations and has indicated an internal investigation will be undertaken.