St Kitts PM welcomes date for debate on motion of no confidence
BASSETERRE – Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris on Wednesday welcomed the date given by Speaker Michael Perkins for the debate of the motion of no confidence in his administration.
The debate will be held on Monday, December 24.
Harris said the date suggests that the matter is being treated “with urgency”.
“When we were in opposition, we asked the Douglas administration to do the honourable thing and allow the tabling, debate and vote on a motion of no confidence.
“The Douglas administration callously refused to do so for 26 months, holding the motion of no confidence in abeyance for more than two years, even when it was clear that he had lost the confidence of the majority of elected Members of Parliament,” Harris said.
Opposition Leader Dr Denzil Douglas last week filed the motion after he said Prime Minister Harris presents a “clear and present danger to democracy” in St Kitts and Nevis.
Douglas, a former prime minister, also alleges that the activities of the incumbent “have belittled and denigrated the esteemed Office of the Prime Minister and has tarnished the good name and standing of this country both regionally and internationally”.
Douglas is calling on legislators to support the motion and ensure the “immediate resignation” of Harris, who led his coalition Team Unity grouping into office in the February 16, 2015 general election.
In the motion, Douglas claims that since being sworn into office, Harris has governed the twin island Federation “in a manner that has seen a rapid erosion of the democratic and good governance standards that are enshrined in the Constitution” and that the “rights, liberties and democratic interests of citizens are being trampled upon using methods that are reminiscent of a full blown dictatorship”.
But Prime Minister Harris said that the refusal to debate the motion of no confidence by the Douglas administration “was a fundamental breach of parliamentary practice and tradition . . . and a violation of our constitutional right, as found by the High Court”.
“In keeping with our mandate for good governance, we are leading by example. The motion will be disposed of soonest,” Harris said, noting that given the support of his coalition administration, “the motion is a distraction by an unpopular opposition”.
“The Cabinet is ready for the debate. We will remain focused on serving the people and improving their welfare,” Harris added. (CMC)