BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 13TH 2014 (CUOPM) – Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Right Hon. Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says there are no human rights issues at stake in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“There is no break-down of law and order and the internal mechanisms of the state – the democratic institutions (to deal with the issue of the Motion of No Confidence) are at work, including the Office of the Governor General, the Office of the Speaker and the Law Courts. Those are the unvarnished facts,” said Dr. Gonsalves.
“If the Leader of Team Unity, my friend Timothy Harris and I am speaking here now, because I have been his friend. He came to St. Vincent and he didn’t ask whether he can speak to the Chairman of CARICOM, he chose to go and speak to the Leader of the Opposition of party which had lost the last three general elections.
Well, if he wants to associate with political failure and he wants to succeed in that context, I would have thought that if he wants to have the image of success, then associate with people who have been successful; not go to those who have failed, again confirming to me that men are not yet ready for ‘test cricket.’
So if you are not yet ready for ‘test cricket’ then why do you want me to catapult you into a test cricket match position?,” asked Prime Minister Gonsalves.
The National Assembly of St. Kitts and Nevis – a unicameral legislature – continues to meet with the Government having eight (8) parliamentarians on the Government Benches and seven (7) parliamentarians on the Opposition Benches.
The Opposition parliamentarians have abandoned their legislative duties and only briefly attend the third consecutive sitting of the lawmaking body to secure their Federal salaries and avoid their seats being declared vacant.
Recent laws passed include the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Act, 2013, The Integrity in Public Life Ordinance, 2013; The Evidence (Amendment Act), 2013; The Saint Christopher and Nevis (Mutual Exchange of Information on Taxation Matters (Amendment) Act, 2013; The Procurement and Contract (Administration) (Amendment) Act, 2013; The National Emblems and National Anthem Act, 2013; The Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Act, 2013; The Evidence (Amendment) Act, 2013 and The Integrity in Public Life Act, 2013.
The opposition took the matter to the High Court and a Judge has ruled that the original motion filed by the opposition legislators would be allowed to continue against the Speaker, the Hon. Curtis Martin.
The other defendants, including Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and members of his Cabinet, have been removed as parties to the originating motion. The Court ruled that there was no evidence that Dr. Douglas or his ministers had prevented the Speaker from having the motion tabled.
The Judge also ordered the opposition legislators to pay costs to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet ministers.
Last week, Prime Minister Douglas said his administration would await the outcome of the court ruling on the Motion of No Confidence.
He said the substantive matter of the motion of no confidence was still sub-judice.