St. Lucia’s gov’t to review its diplomatic appointments

Prime Minister Allan Chastanet.

St. Lucia’s new Prime Minister Allan Chastanet says his government intends to review the appointments of diplomats by the former Dr. Kenny Anthony administration.

High on the list is the controversial appointment of Saudi billionaire Dr. Walid Juffali as St. Lucia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Chastanet and his United Workers Party (UWP) had raised concerns about Dr. Juffali’s appointment, particularly after he attempted to claim diplomatic immunity in a public divorce battle between the businessman and his ex-wife Christina Estrada.

Earlier this year, a High Court in the United Kingdom contended that Dr. Juffali obtained a diplomatic appointment in April 2014 with the sole intention of defeating Estrada’s claims, following the breakdown of their marriage. They were formerly divorced in December 2014.

Questions had been raised about Dr. Juffali’s appointment since he does not have any known qualifications in maritime law and there were no public record of him ever attending any meetings of the IMO.

Prime Minister Chastanet said his government will have to scrutinize other diplomatic postings of people who had been appointed under the previous administration.

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