F.O Riviere in bed recovering from a stroke
F.O Riviere in bed recovering from a stroke

Petter St. Jean, the president of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) says his party will respond in its own time to the allegations of neglect by former Trade and Foreign Affairs minister Francis Osborne Riviere.

The former DLP senior minister who recently suffered two strokes and is confined to his bed said last week that he asked for medical assistance from the DLP government but he was ignored.

"I will not respond to that…we are a party and will make the necessary statement in our own time," St. Jean told the SUN via telephone.

Earlier St. Jean made an appointment with a Sun reporter who was seeking responses to Riviere's claims but St. Jean apparently had second thoughts about the interview and cancelled the meeting. Last week in an exclusive interview with the Sun, Riviere chastised the DLP administration for its leadership failures and the party's efforts at marginalising him.

In the interview, Riviere mentioned an incident late last year when Baroness Patricia Scotland came to Dominica to attend the funeral of President Nicholas Liverpool in Grand Bay.

He said that when he was Minister of Trade in 2000 he travelled to London where he presented a paper at a meeting. Baroness Scotland was so impressed that the next day she invited him to breakfast.

"So she then came to Dominica and asked for an appointment to see me as Minister of Foreign Affairs and we met at the Fort Young Hotel. We also met a few times after that and had several discussions.

"She was also a very close friend of the late Nick Liverpool (former President Nicholas Joseph Liverpool) who died late last year. Nick and his wife are from Colihaut (Note: it is documented that Dr. Liverpool was born in Grand Bay) and he was also part of the Ban Move'. He took her to Colihaut to a Ban Move' session and we met again.

"Nick now dies and I am at the funeral and the woman (Baroness Scotland) is at the funeral so I said I must say hi and hello to her.

"When I went to shake her hand she was a totally different woman. She telling me that I will be seeing her more in the region because of the job they were concocting for her (the job of Secretary General).

"While we were talking the woman was like a total stranger. I myself saying 'what the hell going on'. She was now slim, unlike 2000, and she was speaking to me like a stranger and I felt awkward and said (to myself) 'Bondie' what I put myself in there'. I felt embarrassed."

Riviere said he was left with no option but to "put his feet back in the vehicle" and asked the driver to take him away. Riviere also took a swipe at Dr. Vince Henderson who is Dominica's ambassador at the United Nations. He says that no one is talking about Vince and his work.

"No one is talking about that," Riviere said.