St Kitts-Nevis speaker accused of colluding with PM to limit full debate of no confidence motion

Speaker Michael Perkins

BASSETERRE, St Kitts — The speaker of the St Kitts and Nevis National Assembly, Michael Perkins, has been accused of colluding with the government on Monday, in blocking a full debate of a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris.

After leader of the opposition, Dr Denzil Douglas, spoke for two hours in presenting the motion, the premier of Nevis, Mark Brantley, in concluding a 30-minute response, moved a motion to bring the debate to an end and put the resolution to a voice vote.

Despite objections by Douglas and pleas from the other opposition parliamentarians that they be allowed to speak on the motion, Perkins declared after a voice vote that “the No’s have it and the resolution has failed”.

“A grave injustice has been committed against the people and their right to hear their representatives to debate matters,” said former prime minister Douglas.

In a heated presentation in which Douglas was interrupted several times by government ministers, including Harris, on several points of order, the opposition leader urged government legislators to lend support to his motion and ensure the downfall of the present administration, which he accused of being corrupt, and engaged in acts of nepotism, among other misconduct.

“And that is why we are saying that we are asking the members opposite to at least listen, look inward, ask yourself if this is the way that you expected it to be when you became members of this particular government.

“Ask yourself that because we are saying that you cannot afford to victimise people like this and humiliate people and intimidate people,” he said, noting that the people of the twin island Federation had now retreated into silence given the dictatorial leadership of the present prime minister.

Douglas said that while the members of the “silent majority” were awaiting the date for fresh general elections, the country could not afford to have the present administration remain in office.

“We cannot afford to wait until the next election to do something about… (the) prime minister, who as people say has become rogue. I don’t want to say that, but I say what people say,” Douglas told legislators.

Douglas accused Harris of putting his friends and family “in key positions not out of a sense of benevolence towards the people so that he can be able to call upon them to return the favour as he pleases.”

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