BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is still in the dark on the exact date of the resignation of the Speaker of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly, the Hon. Franklin Brand.
Based on all the available information here is a chronology of the major events known leading to the resignation of Mr. Brand, 11 months after he was elected Speaker of the National Assembly.
14th May 2015 – Franklin Brand elected Speaker of the St Kitts and Nevis National Assembly
15th December 2015 – Speaker Brand presided over the Budget Presentation by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon. Timothy Harris
16th December 2015 – Speaker Brand presided over the presentation of the Leader of the Opposition the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas. (left the chair after the debate on the Budget continued)
Late December 2015/Early January 2016 – Rumours swirled that the Speaker was about to or had resigned following the end of the 2015 Budget Debate.
15th January 2016 – WINNFM reports that there were rumours circulating that Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Franklin Brand had resigned.
16th January 2016 – Attorney General Hon. Vincent Byron Jr. rubbished rumours that the Speaker of the National Assembly Mr. Franklin Brand has resigned. A St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS) statement quoted the Attorney General as saying; “The rumours have no basis and are just not true.” The statement acknowledged that Mr. Brand left the debate during the Budget Session.
19th January 2016 – Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris at a Press Conference said; “I note recent publicity given to a rumour of Speaker Brand’s resignation. There was not a scintilla of evidence to such a resignation or pending one.”
February/March/April – Rumours persist that the Speaker was about to or had resigned as he had not presided over meetings of the lawmaking body. Deputy Speaker Hon. Michael Perkins presided.
23rd March 2016 – Speaker Brand absent from meeting of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly
27th April 2016 – Speaker absent from meeting of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly
April 28th 2016 – Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Franklin Brand resigns.
May 9th 2016 –Heather Crooke, JP, Regional Secretary by letter faxed to members of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Caribbean Americas and Atlantic Region and CPA-CAA Branch Secretaries informed: “It is with regret that I wish to inform you that of the Resignation of the Hon. Franklin Rudolph ONeal Brand as Speaker of the St. Christopher and Nevis National Assembly effective April 28th 2016.”
10th May 2016 – SKNVIBES reported it had received information that the Hon. Franklin Brand has tendered his resignation. It further reported that Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Shawn Richards and the Hon. Eugene Hamilton, Leader of Government Business, claimed not to have any knowledge of the Speaker’s resignation. Deputy Speaker Hon. Michael Perkins categorically stated that he could not offer any comment on the rumour. SKNVIBES claimed that an informed source close to the Team Unity Administration stated that Brand did tender his resignation but “it is low-keyed at this time.”
11th May 2016 – WINNFM reported it is receiving unconfirmed reports that Speaker of the National Assembly Mr. Franklyn Brand has tendered his resignation. Contacted for comment on the reports, Director General of the St. Kitts Nevis Information Service (SKNIS) Mr. Lesroy Williams told WINN that he didn’t know anything about that.
11th May 2016 – The Leader of the Opposition in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas announced on Freedom FM that the Speaker of the St. Kitts and Nevis Assembly Hon. Franklin Brand has resigned.
“As the Leader of the Opposition in our Parliament, I wish to confirm that Speaker Franklin Brand has resigned as the Speaker of the National Assembly and the main reason that has been given for his resignation is that he is sick and tired of deceptive Timothy Harris, our Prime Minister,” said Dr. Douglas during the popular “Issues” programme.
12th May 2015 – The Federal Cabinet in a statement announced that the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Franklin Brand had resigned for health reasons
.WINNM reported that the release from the Office of the Prime Minister Thursday (May 12th 2016) “did not indicate the date of Mr. Brand’s resignation nor when the National Assembly would be convened.”