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St Lucia Opposition leader calls for removal of UN Ambassador

Thursday, February 28, 2013 | 8:00 AM    

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CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) - Opposition Leader Stephenson King wants St.Lucia's Ambassador to the United Nations recalled following what he described as an embarrassing ordeal with the island losing its voting rights as a result of outstanding monies owed to the body.

King told a news conference Wednesday that the development was an embarrassment not only for the government but the people of St Lucia.

He said that the excuses being made by Ambassador Menissa Rambally are quite "disappointing and astounding" and she should be immediately recalled. However, Rambally in a call to several media houses here essentially blamed the former Government for the debt situation which the country is faced with as well as the failure to pay the UN dues.

"Even ahead of the disqualification there must have been notification given to the Ambassador. She had to be aware that St Lucia was heading towards disqualification.

How could we have ended up in a situation where we are among three countries that have been debarred from voting? I believe the Ambassador should be immediately recalled…..” King noted.

St Lucia reportedly owes the United Nations US$35,000.

King said the former United Workers Party (UWP) administration couldn’t be blamed as it did pay its dues and called on the Ambassador to stop playing the blame game.

"In the five years that the UWP served and was represented at the United Nations, never for once were we denied our voting rights at the UN, as we kept our contributions up-to-date for five years," King said.

He said it is therefore evident that the government faltered in meeting its contributions.

"This is unprofessional, it lacks the fineness that is expected especially of an Ambassador to the UN, and her argument is highly political. So it means that Menissa Rambally has not taken herself out of the sheer partisan politics of this country and to rise to the occasion of being an Ambassador to the United Nations," King added.

St.Lucia was identified as one of four Caribbean countries that owe dues and are unable to vote at the general assembly.

One of the four, Grenada, has since paid its dues, while Dominica and the Dominican Republic are the other two countries in arrears.

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