St. Kitts-Nevis Opposition Gives Up On Court Battle ToBlock Government’s Parliamentary Agenda

(Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 22, 2013)  The Peoples Action Movement, the Concerned Citizens Movement out of Nevis, and the Honorable Timothy Harris and Sam Condor have changed their minds on an important matter:They have given up on their attempts to get the Courts to block the Parliament from considering any measure before the Vote of No Confidence.  And the Parliament will continue to meet its Constitutionally-enshrined responsibilities of introducing, considering, and voting on  legislation that the Government deems to be in the National interest.

For months, the Opposition had adamantly proclaimed (a) their ability to block the Denzil Douglas-led Labour Administration from moving forward with its Parliamentary agenda, (b) their readiness to do so, and (c) their determination to win the support of the Courts in this regard.

Prime Minister Douglas, however, had been equally adamant that this was political posturing at its worst, since (i) the Opposition had no legal legs to stand on, (ii) his Government had been abiding by the Constitution every step of the way and would continue doing so, and (iii) the Government has the votes in Parliament to enable him to get his Government’s legislative priorities passed.

Not only was the Prime Minister proven right when, on April 9, 2013, the St. Kitts-Nevis Parliament passed the Government’s 2013 Budget, but the validity of his Government’s position was further underscored when, ten days later, the Opposition abruptly withdrew its attempts to have the Courts block the Parliament from considering any bills prior to the Motion of No Confidence.

These developments underscore the point that has repeatedly been made by Labour Administration – namely, that there are pressing legislative issues that must be dealt with in the interests of the State, and that, important though the Motion of No Confidence may be, it cannot take precedence over other crucial legislation that must be considered by Parliament.

The Opposition giving up on this matter has produced the outcome that Government Ministers had always predicted would be the end result:  the clear,  unobstructed, and Constitutionally-enshrinedright of the Government to introduce, consider, and vote on those Parliamentary measures which they, in their good judgment, deem to be in the best interests of the Nation.

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