Hon. Shawn K. Richards and Hon. Sam Condor File Papers for Injunction

Basseterre, St. Kitts, Saturday 2nd February, 2013 (People’s Action Movement Press Secretariat):- As the current political developments in St. Kitts and Nevis continue to unfold, two senior members of the National Assembly of St. Kitts and Nevis have taken action to seek relief from the Eastern Caribbean High Court, to place an injunction on the recent appointment of a new senator and his ability to vote in the parliament.

The affidavits filed by the parliamentarians have also challenged certain actions taken by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Curtis Martin and the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis.

The request for said injunction was filed with the Registrar’s Office on Friday 1st February, 2013, by the Hon. Shawn K Richards, Political Leader of the opposition People’s Action Movement, PAM, and the Member of Parliament for St. Christopher 5 and the Hon. Sam Condor, former Deputy Prime Minister, current Deputy Political Leader of the ruling Labour Party and Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher 3.

It is the contention of the two MPs that the hurried and unconstitutional installation of the new senator is motivated by bias and/or some other improper motive on the part of those named as defendants in the law suit, namely the Governor General, His Excellency, Sir Edmund Lawrence, Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Dr. Denzil Douglas, Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Curtis Martin, The Attorney General and the Hon. Jason Hamilton.

According to Condor and Richards, the installation in parliament of Mr. Hamilton as a senator and his ability to vote in the Assembly, will be a recipe for havoc and utter confusion in the minds of the electorate and their representatives.

Both the PAM Leader and the Deputy Political Leader of the incumbent Labour Government are firmly of the view that “if the Defendants are not restrained from violating the Constitution or continuing the violation of the Constitution, or the rules of natural justice, and the National Assembly Elections Act, (and) the electoral process, (then) the constitution and our Democracy may be irreparably harmed.”

They have therefore asked the High Court to place an injunction, thereby placing an “Order restraining the Defendants themselves, their servants, and/or agents or persons subject to their control, authority or direction from acting or taking any action doing any act of appointment or otherwise pursuant to the Senators (Increasing of Numbers) Act, 2013.”

The request is also for “An order restraining the 4th Defendant by himself, (Jason Hamilton) his servant, and/or agent or person subject to his control, authority or direction from acting in the capacity as Senator until the hearing of this action or until further order.”

Simply put, if the injunction is granted it would mean that the appointment of Mr. Hamilton as a senator would be suspended; he would not be allowed to vote in parliament and; the Senators (Increasing of Numbers) Act 2013, would also be on hold. This would mean that the three additional senators to be appointed would not be permitted to proceed during the time of the injunction.

In the Affidavit filed on Friday, the Claimants are also challenging a number of actions that may be categorized as unconstitutional, irregular and in contravention of various rules, regulations and procedures of the National Assembly.

It includes a request for a Declaration that the Speaker cannot purport to amend the Order Paper of the National Assembly on his own initiative, which is what was done when he allowed Mr. Hamilton to be sworn in during the sitting on 29th January.

It is anticipated that a date for the hearing of the injunction request will be determined shortly, as a matter of urgency, by the High Court.

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