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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06BRIDGETOWN2026
2006-11-17 21:14:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bridgetown
Cable title:  

TAIWAN INVOLVEMENT IN ST. LUCIAN ELECTIONS

Tags:   PINR  PREL  TW  SL  XL 
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VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHWN #2026 3212114
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 172114Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3733
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0265
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1564
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 0123
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J5 MIAMI FL
RUEHCV/USDAO CARACAS VE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L BRIDGETOWN 002026 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CAR, INR/I
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/16/2016
TAGS: PINR PREL TW SL XL
SUBJECT: TAIWAN INVOLVEMENT IN ST. LUCIAN ELECTIONS
SUSPECTED, BUT NO EVIDENCE (C-AL6-01675)

REF: A. BRIDGETOWN 1961


B. STATE 175636

Classified By: DCM Mary Ellen T. Gilroy for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRIDGETOWN 002026

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CAR, INR/I
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/16/2016
TAGS: PINR PREL TW SL XL
SUBJECT: TAIWAN INVOLVEMENT IN ST. LUCIAN ELECTIONS
SUSPECTED, BUT NO EVIDENCE (C-AL6-01675)

REF: A. BRIDGETOWN 1961


B. STATE 175636

Classified By: DCM Mary Ellen T. Gilroy for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).


1. (C) SUMMARY: Although many observers believe that Taiwan
is supporting the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) in
the December 11 St. Lucian elections, there is little
evidence because of the lack of transparency in campaign
finance. PM Anthony has expressed concern that Taiwan will
provide funds through its Embassy in St. Kitts and Nevis,
citing as evidence opposition leader Sir John Compton's visit
with Taiwan's president in St. Vincent last year. A UWP
figure confirmed that the purpose of Compton's meeting with
Taiwan's president was to negotiate campaign assistance. END
SUMMARY.


2. (SBU) A number of observers believe that Taiwan is
supporting the opposition United Workers Party in the
upcoming St. Lucian elections to be held December 11.
However, there is little evidence supporting this suspicion
because there are no laws for or norms of campaign finance
disclosure in the Eastern Caribbean. Also, because of the
small populations in Eastern Caribbean states, there is
little political will to require transparency. Citizens are
hesitant to inform their neighbors how much they are donating
and to which parties.


3. (U) On September 28, 2005, UWP leader and former St. Lucia
Prime Minister Sir John Compton met with President of Taiwan
Chen Shui-Bian in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which
Compton denied until St. Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony
provided evidence of the trip. The ruling St, Lucia Labour
Party (SLP) accused Compton of meeting with President Chen to
request support for the upcoming elections. PM Anthony also
expressed concern that the Taiwan Embassy in St. Kitts and
Nevis may attempt to funnel money to the UWP campaign.


4. (C) On a November 13 telcon with PolOff, UWP Senator
Michael Flood admitted that Compton negotiated with Taiwan
concerning campaign contributions during his trip to St.
Vincent more than a year ago, but claimed that the UWP has
not received any funding from Taiwan because the government
has blocked all diplomatic sources of funding. Flood did not
discuss private or corporate sources of contributions from
Taiwan. (Note: Although such a policy shift seems unlikely,
Flood stated adamantly on September 19 that the UWP would
reverse diplomatic recognition from China back to Taiwan if
victorious in the upcoming elections (ref A). However, in
the November 13 telcon with PolOff, Flood backed away from
these statements, suggesting that the UWP will reevaluate its
relationship with the two Chinas and do what is in the best
interest of St. Lucian foreign policy. End Note.)


5. (C) Peter Wickham, political scientist, pollster, and
consultant to the SLP, said in a private conversation with
PolOff on September 15 that Taiwan is likely contributing to
the UWP and may even be contributing to both parties to
maximize influence in the government. He emphasized,
however, that this is just conjecture because, even as a
consultant, he has not seen any details concerning campaign
donations.


6. (C) COMMENT: Although Flood insisted that the UWP has not
received "a single cent" from Taiwan, PolOff's conversations
with the UWP senator tend to veer into requests for USG
donations to the UWP campaign chest. Thus, partisans'
testimony that Taiwan has not been involved is unpersuasive.
Because of his role as an outside consultant to the SLP and
his long-term involvement with Caribbean politics, Wickham's
conjecture that Taiwan is involved with the UWP and possibly
contributing to both parties is much more believable, if
still unproven. In any case, the lack of accountability for
campaign funds results in all statements being speculative,
particularly because those who could speak authoritatively
refuse to do so to protect their sources of support.
OURISMAN