Opposition Leader Douglas personally delivers message to PM Harris during Special Sitting of the National Assembly
Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 19th 2017 – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Leader of the Opposition, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas directly delivered a message to Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, Leader of Government Business, Eugene Hamilton and Attorney General, Vincent Byron during the Special Sitting of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly last Thursday.
“I wish to emphasize that no prime minister, no leader of government business and in fact no member of this National Assembly would have prevented me from being in this House tonight to express my congratulations to the 25 Most Remarkable Teens,” said Dr. Douglas, whose statement on the adjournment, when concluded, was received with thunderous applause by the awardees, their parents and visitors in the gallery.
Dr. Douglas’ message was in response to misleading statements from Prime Minster Harris, Attorney General Byron and Hamilton, that the former prime minister is not qualified to sit in the lawmaking body.
Observers note that statements in and outside the National Assembly by Perkins, Harris and Hamilton, are simply to appease Team Unity supporters by repeatedly saying they are taking the matter to court as this “just talk” that has no legal and constitutional standing, a position heralded by William “Willie” Liburd, a staunch Team Unity supporter, known to be the editor of PAM-owned Democrat newspaper and a director on the Board of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Board.
“You all carrying this joke too far. No one and no High Court can deprive my most recent former prime minister (Denzil Douglas) of his seat at this point in time. Ask Dwyer Astaphan, if you don’t believe me,” Liburd told Calvin Beach another Team Unity supporter on October 30, 2017.
In fact, 25 days have passed since Dr. Harris told a press conference on October 25th 2017, that his Government is “in the process of finalizing an application to the High Court seeking declarations that the Leader of the Opposition is no longer eligible to continue sitting as a Representative in the National Assembly, and that he should be required to vacate his seat.”
Harris said then that the issue had already been brought to the attention of the Speaker of the National Assembly Michael Perkins, who repeated last Tuesday what Harris and Hamilton have said publicly.
Attorney General Byron also picked up the chorus last week Tuesday, first stating that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis “is preparing to go before the Court,” then added: that he has “initiated instructions to senior counsel to begin proceedings in this matter to determine whether the member for number six should vacate his seat or not.”
Hours before the start of the hurriedly scheduled meeting, in an effort to make the rumour about Dr. Douglas being disqualified as a Member of Parliament, appear factual, Dr. Douglas who was out of the country at the time, gave the Nation the assurance that he will be present for the Special Session of the National Assembly to honour the Federation’s 25 Most Remarkable Teens for 2017 on Thursday 16th November and the 2018 Budget Debate in December.
When the matter was raised by Speaker Perkins, during last Tuesday’s National Assembly, Dr. Douglas, issued a statement in which he accused Speaker Perkins of allowing the lawmaking body to be used as a political theatre.
“I reiterate the point that the Parliament is being used as a political theatre because Dr. Timothy Harris, Mr. Eugene Hamilton, Speaker Michael Perkins and all members of Parliament are well aware that under our Constitution, the Parliament of our land in and of itself cannot address matters to do with the qualification of members to sit in the Assembly. This is a matter which only the Courts of our land can determine. For Speaker Michael Perkins to read Mr. Eugene Hamilton’s ill-conceived letter into the records of Parliament is irresponsible and reinforces the public’s views of the Speaker a bias arbitre of the Parliament’s business,” said Dr. Douglas, the Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher 6 since 1989.
Dr. Douglas, who served as Prime Minister for 20 years noted that Mr. Hamilton’s letter “is nothing more than a political gimmick that he is performing under instructions from his failing leader Dr. Timothy Harris.”
Photo: Leader of the Opposition, The Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas speaking in the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly on Thursday 16th November 2017