Saint Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme continues to be a bone of contention. Prime minister Allen Chastanet recently defended the programme, arguing that it provides an opportunity for “major capital investment.”
A practical view of the landscape of Saint Lucia does not support this assumption; and in so doing, the Constitution of Saint Lucia should be primary, compared to the solicitation of a failed administration to the ethos that ‘government must be run like a business’.
Also, what makes the use of presumptive close and preemptive pricing – lawful – when the laws of Saint Lucia demands approval by parliament, the signature of the Governor-General and official publication in the Gazette of Saint Lucia.
Thus, it is imminent to “Check The Change” to strange legal writing:
“The Cabinet of ministers of Saint Lucia has approved the extension of the offering of “The Special COVID-19 Relief Bond” beyond 31st December, 2020 for one (1) more year until 31st December, 2021.
“The amendments to the requisite regulations to allow for the extension shall be done shortly and once implemented, the CIP Unit shall be receiving applications for the Special COVID-19 Relief Bond in 2021.
“The applicant fees and commission structure for the Special COVID-19 Relief Bond shall continue as presently exists.”
Based on the 2019-2020 annual report, CBI Saint Lucia is now in the fifth year of operation and has raised $131,245,988.06 — 813 people have been granted Saint Lucian citizenship since the programme’s inception. This adds to the quarrelsome standings, exemplified by a social media commenter: “We the citizens have not felt, nor seen the benefits of the revenue stream.”
The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has vowed to review every citizenship approved by the government of Saint Lucia.
“Without any hesitation, when the labour party resumes office, we will reinstate the net worth requirement and will undertake another due diligence assessment on each and every application granted under the United Workers Party (UWP) with our promise to revoke any passports of applicants, who do not meet the $3 million net worth requirement or does not meet the strict due diligence requirements which Saint Lucians expect.
“Applicants applying for citizenship in Saint Lucia should be warned that when the SLP is returned to office, we will also demand that all citizens who did not donate the full contribution amount of USD$ 200,000, will be compelled to top up the contribution that they made at the time of becoming citizens. For the sanctity of our citizenship, we do not tolerate any applicants who do not meet the first-class standard that we expect from individuals seeking citizenship in Saint Lucia.”
Prime minister Chastanet has indicated that the programme is “constantly under review.” Both of the island’s main political parties support the existence of the programme, whilst the newest party, the Saint Lucia National Party has vowed to “abolish” it.
Saint Lucia has entered a general elections year, constitutionally due, October 12, 2021 — no extension permitted.