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Eustace questions why no state funeral for Joseph

Eustace questions why no state funeral for Joseph


President of the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace is not pleased that former Attorney-General Carl Joseph will not be granted a state funeral today.

Speaking on Nice Radio’s ‘New Times Programme’ on Wednesday, Eustace said that in the past, the Government met the funeral expenses for others, including parliamentarians who had served for very short periods of time and Glen Jackson,{{more}} the former press secretary to the Prime Minister, whose funeral, Eustace said, cost $100,000.

He said he does not accept the argument that state funerals are only for long serving people, because Michael Hamlett had only been a parliamentarian for four months as a senator for the Unity Labour Party and he received a full state funeral.

“I want to know why Carl Joseph, who served in the same Parliament, as the Attorney-General, is being treated in this manner by the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” the Leader of the Opposition asked.

“This the extent to which we take the politics? We taking it now to death?”

Eustace said he was really upset on Monday morning, having spoken with members of Joseph’s family and questioned what was the real reason Joseph was not being given a state funeral.

Shortly after Eustace spoke on radio, a caller, claiming to be the daughter of Joseph, asked that her father’s funeral not be made a political issue.

“We have been granted an official funeral for my father; we do appreciate what the Government has done; we really do not want to make this a political issue. We never intended to make it a political issue. I’d like if everyone would respect my father and his family and do not politicize the funeral; thank you,” the caller said.

Joseph, a former Attorney-General, was 68 at the time of his death. He died at his home in Gomea on Monday, July 4; it is believed that he suffered a heart attack.

He had served as the Attorney-General on two separate occasions under the Sir James Mitchell led New Democratic Party. His first stint was in 1986, then again in 1998, when he was appointed senator and entrusted with the Ministry of Justice portfolio, in addition to the post of AG.

Joseph’s funeral will be held today, Friday.(AS)