By Erasmus Wiliams
Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 22, 2018 – The opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) has described as “bluster and pretence,” Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris’ first reading in the National Assembly on Wednesday, legislation to change the constitution when he does not have support of two-thirds of all Representatives in the lawmaking body.
The Party in a statement Thursday noted that on the subject matter of the ‘Alteration of the Constitution’, section 38(2) of the St. Christopher and Nevis Constitution reads:
“A bill to alter any provisions of this Constitution…shall not be regarded as being passed by the National Assembly unless on its final reading the bill is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of ALL Representatives.”
“Dr. Timothy Harris knows that he DOES NOT and CANNOT command the necessary support to change one iota of the Constitution of our beloved Country. He and his government CANNOT and WILL NOT on their own, determine the length of the term of service of any Elected Representative or any other Constitutional provision for that matter,” the SKNLP said.
“The real intention of Prime Minister Harris is to use the Parliament of our land as a political tool to further his agenda of deception and to confuse and exploit the public for his personal political gain. That ploy will not work this time. The public is now fully alert to the deceptive ways of Prime Minister Harris,” the SKNLP said.
The SKNLP, the largest political party in the twin-island Federation said “Dr. Harris’ attempts to make St. Kitts and Nevis into a full-fledged dictatorship where he and his family determine every aspect of the lives of Kittitians and Nevisians, and use the resources of the taxpayers as his family’s treasure chest, will be fought back by every conscientious citizen and by our great political organisation.”
“The Labour Party has always been a bulwark of freedom, democracy and transparency. Dr. Harris will not be allowed to muzzle opposing voices both inside and outside of Parliament as he has tried so vehemently to do since taking office. He will not be allowed to censor the media and the conscience of upright citizens and residents of our Federation. The corruption that runs amok will not continue without the voice of the Opposition being heard to appraise the people and to bring light to the dark recesses of the government that Dr. Harris heads,” the statement said.
It pointed out that on the broader matter of Constitutional Reform, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party will only participate in any effort to reform the Constitution “if there is a Constitutional Reform Commission properly established for that purpose; there is proper representation of all bona fide political parties on such a Constitutional Reform Commission and the constitutional reform process is geared towards looking more broadly and holistically at improving the systems of democratic governance of our Federation.”