Updated Monday, September 12, 2011 11:34 pm TWN, By Kenton X. Chance , Special to The China Post
TAIWAN, Monday September 12, 2011 - A Taiwanese diplomat is at the heart of an election controversy in St. Lucia, one of the nation's Eastern Caribbean allies.
Kenny Anthony, the St. Lucia opposition Leader, has called for the resignation, reprimand and recall of Ambassador Tom Chou because of his reported interference in local politics, according to the Caribbean Media Corporation.
Anthony has further announced that parliamentarians from his St. Lucia Labor Party (SLP) will no longer afford Chou any diplomatic courtesies.
They will treat Chou as “a political operative” of the ruling United Workers party (UWP), “given the government's glaring complicity with Ambassador Tom Chou, in promoting partisan politicking in place of national development,” Anthony, a former prime minister, further said.
Anthony has called on Chou to waive his diplomatic immunity to allow investigations into allegations that Taiwanese funds have made their way into the pockets of UWP lawmakers.
The accusations come as St. Lucia prepares for general elections, expected by yearend.
Anthony has also called on the Ma Ying-jeou government to assure Castries, the St. Lucian seat of government,that Chou will “cooperate with any investigating authority regarding the use of those funds.”
Chou has described the allegations as a “lie” and said that Philip Pierre, deputy leader of the SLP, should “bring the evidence or be quiet.”
However, Anthony has warned that his St. Lucia Labor Party will “in the coming days and weeks” present evidence on the “misuse” of Taiwanese funds.
The SLP “simply feels it necessary to remind Ambassador Chou that his position dictates that he stays out of Saint Lucia's domestic politics,” Anthony said.
He further said that Chou must be reminded that he once publicly handed an envelope packed with hundreds of U.S. dollars to a former Commissioner of Police.
“Therefore, the Saint Lucia Labor Party stands by the statements made by Pierre, asserting that funds from the Taiwanese Embassy found their way into the pockets of UWP Parliamentarians,” the SLP leader noted.
“In the recent war on former UWP Member Marcus Nicholas and the Leader of the Opposition, UWP Vice Chairman, Oswald Augustin and Constituency Group Officials confirmed this, so what evidence is Mr. Chou asking for?” Anthony asked.
“By his most recent statement, Ambassador Tom Chou has again confirmed the Labor Party's assessment of him. And so in spite of his complaints, he has no one but himself and his UWP associates to blame, for the negative press that his embassy is currently receiving,” the SLP leader stated.
If it wins the elections, the SLP is expected re-establish ties with China. In 2007, after 10 years of relations with Beijing, Castries renewed ties with Taipei as the UWP government, now led by Stephenson King, came to office.
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