Elected Majority absent from Parliamentary sitting

PAM Press Release

“We will not add legitimacy to the proceedings,” says Dr. Timothy Harris

Basseterre, St.Kitts (July 17th 2013):-The UNITED Elected Majority of the St.Kitts-Nevis parliament is continuing their protest action of another sitting of the National Assembly. The 6 MPs who represent the Majority of Elected Members and political parties in parliament have maintained and reiterated their stance in refusing to legitimize the government and the Assembly.

Former Senior Minister Dr. Timothy Harris stated that the action is as a result of the continued subversion of democracy in the country.

“We the UNITED and Elected Majority of the National Assembly of St.Kitts and Nevis will not participate in or add any legitimacy to the illegitimate minority government of Dr Denzil Douglas and by extension to the parliament which is conducted by the Speaker Hon. Curtis Martin while the executive and the Speaker collude and refuse to bring the Motion of No Confidence to be heard for over 7 months. We see this as a blatant subversion of democracy in this our beloved country,” said Dr. Harris.

The Speaker pronounced publicly and in correspondences to the Leader of the Opposition that the delay in laying of the motion of no confidence was as a result of it being before court. However the matter has since been withdrawn by the Elected Majority . Noted QC Charles Wilkin has stated that there is absolutely no impediment to the tabling and debating of the motion of No Confidence.

Mr Wilkin was quoted as saying “In my opinion it should be heard. I stand by the opinion that I gave in my commentary in February on the subject, that convention requires that a motion of no confidence be heard at an early date,” Wilkin reiterated. “Nothing that has happened since either by way of court proceedings or otherwise has legally prevented the Speaker from tabling the motion of no confidence, and he certainly would not be in contempt of court if he did so now,” Queen’s Counsel Wilkin said.

Leader of the Opposition , Hon. Mark Brantley wrote to the Speaker on Monday July 15th to inquire of the Speaker if the Motion which has been filed since December 11th would be tabled for debate for the next sitting on July 17th (Today).

The letter sent to Speaker Martin from Opposition Leader Hon. Mark Brantley stated in part “I refer to my several letters to you on the Matter of the Motion of No Confidence and to your most recent statement in Parliament that you still required High Court to opine on certain matter not withstanding the withdrawal by the Elected Majority of the action hitherto filed in the High Court.”

Brantley continued in the letter, “With respect, your position is confused and confusing. It was your failure to list motion for debate after some 4 months(from December 11th , 2012 to April 3rd, 2013 that forces the Elected Majority to proceed to the High Court for relief. Your trenchant position before the High Court and as repeated in your statement read in parliament is that the Court has no jurisdiction and can in now way direct you as Speaker over matters to do with the conduct of parliament. You then asserted in writing that the existence of the High court action prevented you from proceeding with the Motion as the matter was sub judice . Inasmuch as this was identified as your only impediment to the motion being tabled for debate, the elected majority withdrew the action from the High Court………..You have now done a volte face and claim now you wish to have certain matters determined by the court and therefore will not table this motion or indeed the second motion filed by Hon. Shawn Richards….. Whilst we cannot say what the High Court’s view of these contortions on your part may be, what we can say without fear of contradiction is that at the times of writing this letter there is NO EXISITING ACTION before the High Court brought by the elected majority. The previous action has been discontinued….. In light of that therefore, I wish to inquire formally of you whether the Motion of No Confidence filed with the Clerk of Parliament since December 11th, 2012 or indeed since July 5th, 2013 will be tabled for debate in the National Assembly on the sitting slated for Wednesday July 17th.

The Speaker responded to the letter verbally by stating that he stood by the statement he made during the last sitting of parliament which indicated that he will not put the Motion of No Confidence on the order paper until the issue of his jurisdiction, the privileges of the House, and the parameters of the High Court’s jurisdiction were settled.

Hon. Eugene Hamilton supported Dr. Harris and Leader of the Opposition Hon. Mark Brantley’s statements by saying “Former Chief Justice Alleyne, QC Wilkin, US Councilman Clifton, the former Speaker of the Parliament in Jamaica Delroy Chuck, the Bar Association, the Coalition of NGO’s and Sir Probyn Inniss have all declared that the Motion of No Confidence needs to be heard now. The country deserves it and demands it and we stand confident in our commitment to the principles on which we were elected by the people and we will represent them and the country based on those principles. MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE NOW!!!!!…..ELECTIONS NOW!!!!”.

The Elected Majority expressed concern that an illegitimate and illegal minority government could arrogate onto itself the right to change boundaries to undermine the Elected Majority. This makes a mockery of our democracy and our parliament.

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