The St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has raised concerns that statements made by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet over the Citizenship by Investment programme are “not consistent with the laws of St Lucia”, reports WicNews.com
And his announcements, made in Geneva last week, are being reported by international media without taking this into consideration.
Chastanet revealed that under new plans, if someone who obtained citizenship through CIP later has a child, all their decedents can apply for citizenship as well.
But the SLP was quick to dampen that idea.
“The laws of St Lucia do not allow for granting citizenship in such circumstances. The law presently only allows for one generation only, to inherit citizenship by descent,” the party said.
“A descendent of a person who has been granted citizenship through the CIP cannot pass on citizenship to their children. These children must be born in St Lucia to be granted citizenship.
“The SLP calls on the Prime Minister to explain his statements and whether there is an intention to change the laws of St Lucia to allow for what he announced.”
WIC News has approached the government for comment on the SLP’s comments.
Another aspect of the Chastanet’s comments is the rates paid to registered agents – and the SLP have questioned the timing of his announcement, which came on a trip to Switzerland.
“The Prime Minister must explain what is meant when he stated the government will be paying a guaranteed commission to all registered agents promoting the US$100,000 donation option.
The SLP notes that there are only nine registered agents, who according to the CIP guidelines must be St Lucian and St Lucia-based, and whose role is to submit applications to the CIP Unit and who are paid by the applicants.
“The Prime Minister needs to, therefore, explain why his announcement was not made in St Lucia to these agents and whether he has already approved for foreign-owned companies to now become registered agents.”
Use of CIP funds
In a comprehensive statement from the SLP, the opposition urge the prime minister to be more transparent about the financial details of the Citizenship by Investment Programme.
“St Lucia Labour Party is asking the prime minister to explain how much money the government of St Lucia will retain on each passport and, more importantly, how is the CIP revenue being used,” they said.
“The SLP notes that the Regulations were changed on 1 January 2017 to allow the CIP Unit to retain US$20,000 on each donation made for marketing and promotional purposes yet to date no information has been given as to how these monies will be used.
“Then the global marketing agencies are to be paid $10,000 for the same marketing and promotional work. And with announcements last week of a guaranteed payment to each registered agent, said to be another $10,000, it means that the government will only receive $60,000 for each citizenship granted through donation.
“The St Lucia Labour Party is strongly condemning this cheapening of the citizenship programme and once more calls on the UWP government to restore the original arrangements which ensured that the programme was a well- respected programme for value, security, due diligence and exclusivity.”