Statement by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly

Today, Tuesday, 5th March, 2013 at 12 noon at Government House, Basseterre, I as the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis, acting on my own behalf and on behalf of and with the authorization of 5 other  duly elected Representatives of the National Assembly, being the Honourable Dr Timothy Harris, the Honourable Sam Condor, the Honourable Vance Amory, the Honourable Shawn Richards and the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, by letter notified His Excellency Sir Edmund Wickham Lawrence, KCMG, OBE, Governor General of St. Christopher & Nevis, that we do not support Dr. the Rt. Honourable Denzil Llewellyn Douglas as Prime Minister.

We brought to the Governor General’s attention, the most urgent matter of the Notice of the Motion of No Confidence which now stands duly submitted to the Clerk of the National Assembly since the 11th December 2012 and respectfully informed him that each and every one of us will vote in favour of the Motion.

By this action today, we have made it absolutely clear that without the confidence, and without the prospect of commanding the support of a majority of elected Representatives of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Douglas cannot now possess either a political or a moral mandate to lead the Government of this Federation.  This necessarily negates any mandate for him to seek to introduce any legislation of whatever nature into the National Assembly ahead of the said Motion of No Confidence.

We also sought to make it pellucid to His Excellency that a Prime Minister who hangs on to office whilst not having the support of a majority of elected representatives in the National Assembly is in no position to insist that the Governor General’s functions can only be exercised on his (the Prime Minister’) advice.

This continuing, deliberate and reckless neglect by the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister and his Administration, of their obligation to ensure that the Motion of No Confidence is given the highest priority, will serve only to undermine our Federation’s already compromised confidence and credibility. For this, the Speaker, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet will have to take full responsibility.

The majority of the elected members in the National Assembly continue to demonstrate their unity of purpose in restoring decency and good governance to our beloved Federation and call publicly on Dr. Denzil Douglas and the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly to ensure that the Motion of No Confidence is tabled for debate in the National Assembly without further delay.

We call also on civil society to be vigilant and to continue to apply pressure to ensure that the democratic traditions we all hold sacrosanct are respected and restored.

Hon Mark Brantley
Leader of the Opposition
National Assembly

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