St Kitts: PM ready for general election
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Mar 22, CMC – Embattled Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas says his ruling St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) is prepared for a general election constitutionally due by 2015.
“The Labour Party stands ready to be prepared for any event electorally. We are a party established since 1932. We have been in government for the last 17 years after being able to defeat a 15 year opposition regime (PAM),” said Prime Minister Douglas, adding the SKNLP “has the confidence and the support of our people if we were to go into a general election, if they were to be called.
“We have made it absolutely clear the SKNLP would not lose any motion of no confidence in the Parliament and the Constitution gives us options which is why I am confident that we will not lose any motion of no confidence if it comes to the vote,” he said on his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister”.
Prime Minister Douglas told listeners while he is confident “we will not lose that vote” the government also had other options.
“…if we believe the chances are that we will lose the vote, then we will go to our options which are placed clearly in our Constitution,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
Earlier this month, Opposition Leader Mark Brantley said he had written Governor General Sir Edmund Lawrence indicating that six of the 11 legislators in Parliament no longer supported Dr. Douglas and called for the debate on the motion to be held without further delay.
The move by the opposition leader, which also has the support of two former government ministers – former deputy prime minister Sam Condor and senior government minister Dr. Timothy Harris – is the latest strategy being employed to force the National Assembly to debate the motion of no confidence that the opposition said had been “duly submitted to the Clerk of the National Assembly since the 11th December 2012”.
Brantley said he was calling “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”.
The St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the churches have already called on Prime Minister Dr. Douglas to ensure that the opposition inspired motion is debated soon.
But Prime Minister Douglas Prime has insisted that his administration would not be rushed into debating the motion of no confidence and that the presentation of the national budget is a priority matter to be dealt with.
Dr. Douglas told radio listeners whenever the motion is debated, his government would seek to convince legislators to support the government given its record of achievement.
“This is not a Douglas thing. It is a Government-Cabinet thing. All of us contributed to where we are. Not one more than the other,” said Dr. Douglas, adding “this nonsense of trying to demonise the leader and blame him for everything that is not good, but taking the credit for them for whatever may have been good, is absolute hypocrisy as I’ve said in the past”.
He said the two former senior government ministers while indicating that they “are no longer with this Labour Party” and looking towards a unity government “I say to you…it will not get in because it is really a disunity government.
“ It is a government of convenience, where each man having his own little personal interest wants to sit together; but we have evidence of what happens in unity governments,” said Dr. Douglas, pointing to examples of recent unity governments in Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago.
He said there were also examples of failed unity governments in St. Kitts and Nevis, adding “the unity government concept does not work!
“It’s confusion and that is why we keep saying to our people, what is happening is, that these guys thought that the Labour Party would have fallen on 12th day of December 2012. They had dubbed it Freedom Day with PAM (People’s action Movement), but we are still here by the grace of God and the support of our own people.
“Not only the supporters of the Labour Party, but people generally in this country are saying that’s not the way we would want this Labour government to go, having done so much, having navigated the most difficult of channels during this turbulent period from since 2008 ‘til present.