“We warned them. Mr. Eustace said Anesia Baptiste was too bright for us and we couldn’t deal with her.” — Sen. Julian Francis

General-secretary of the ruling Unity Labour Party, Senator Julian Francis (Internet photo).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – A leading strategist for the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) says that it seems that dismissed senator, Anesia Baptiste and her Thusian Institute for Religious Liberty Inc., planned to infiltrate and take over the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).

Sen. Julian Francis, general-secretary of the (ULP), said Tuesday night that his information suggests that there could have been three Thusians on the NDP ticket for the next general election — constitutionally due in 2015.

Baptiste has received the nod for West St. George, Shefflorn Ballantyne is vying for North Windward, while a third Thusian wants to enter the primaries, according to Francis, who said he is yet to verify, first-hand, the possible candidacy of the third Thusian.

“It seems that Mr. Eustace and the NDP suddenly woke up because it seems as if the Thusians were taking over the NDP and Mr. Eustace saw members of the traditional churches and other religious organisations were being silent and not saying much and he had to make a decision to avoid a coup,” Francis said on radio.

Eustace on Thursday fired Baptiste from the senate after she said she would not obey an NDP policy of not speaking adversely about religion.

The NDP adopted the policy last week Tuesday on the heels of comments Ballantyne made on radio about the Catholic Church earlier this month.

But Francis said that the NDP could have avoided the situation.

“It is strange how easily the New Democratic Party gets hoodwinked by people,” he said, adding, “… they have been slapped, despite warnings by the Unity Labour Party in the past about the nature of this young lady (Baptiste).”

He said that Baptiste, who joined the NDP in 2009 after a fallout with the ULP earlier that year, moved quickly up the ranks of the party, to the post of Assistant General-Secretary.

He further said that Baptiste was “handpicked” after the 2010 election to be a senator — “over and above many, many others, including persons who ran in the last election”

“So I can understand the anger within Mr. Eustace and therefore his mismanagement of this whole affair,” said Francis, who lost to Eustace in East Kingstown in the 2005 election.

“We warned them. Mr. Eustace said Anesia Baptiste was too bright for us and we couldn’t deal with her,” he said.

“Anesia has made her rounds. There is no question in my mind that Anesia is deliberate in her forward movement. There is no doubt in my mind that it was the intention, and still is the intention of her, to infiltrate organisations with herself and her [nine] Thusian members …” Francis further stated.

“When she joined the Unity Labour Party, unfortunately, she met the talent that she knew she couldn’t deal with and she decided, when we fell out in 2009, that she wasn’t going to fight the competition that was in the ranks of the Unity Labour Party so she went over to the New Democratic Party.”

He said that Baptiste joined the ULP on April 21, 2006 and left the party in April 2009 after its radio station — Star FM — discontinued a Thusian programme for what he described as anti-Semitic content.

“So she joined the Unity Labour Party in April and she seemed to have fallen out with us in April and now she is falling out with the NDP in April. April must be a special month on the Thusian calendar,” Francis said.

Among Eustace’s ‘hotshots’

Former senator, Anesia Baptiste (File photo by Oris Robinson).

“In a very short space of time, she basically took over the NDP and she was on the president’s list of hotshots. Everybody lost favour with the president but the president continued to hug up Anesia,” Francis said.

He said that Baptiste then “decided to start making her move to install other Thusians in the NDP”.

“So here is somebody who came back (from studying overseas) with a plan to infiltrate a political organisation to get to the top,” Francis said of Baptiste, who has said she wants to be this country’s first woman prime minister.

“While I am spending a lot of time on Anesia, I am blaming the New Democratic Party for this. They were sucked in. we stood up to her and she humbly left after putting up a fight.”

Francis spoke of the 11-page, 5,000-word letter that Baptiste wrote Eustace after the NDP’s Strategy Committee adopted the policy on religion last week

“I would state clearly that the only thing missing from Anesia’s letter to Mr. Eustace was her resignation. You can’t expect to write a letter like this to the president of your party or the political leader of your party with the rudeness, and out-of-placeness — using her term — and expect that she could be a member of this party,” he said.

Eustace responded ‘poorly’

Opposition Leader and President of the New Democratic Party, Arnhim Eustace (File photo).

He also said that Eustace handled the dismissal of the senator poorly.

Eustace read on radio last Friday the letter he had written to the Governor General asking that Baptiste’s senatorial appointment be revoked but gave no explanation, saying he might comment further on Monday.

Meanwhile, Batiste’s letter was being circulated via the Internet, thereby giving the ULP an opportunity to device a response strategy even before Eustace explained the dismissal around 11 a.m. Monday, according to Francis.

“They exposed the chaos that is taking place inside of the New Democratic Party,” he said.

“… Could you imagine that the NDP had won the 2010 election? Anesia would have been placed in the House as a senator. She might have been given a ministry and then this buss out in Cabinet? … The whole country woulda mash up,” Francis said.