“Tenure of Office of Prime Minister Bill, a sign of a desperate despot”

Basseterre, St Kitts, September 23, 2019 – Knowing that he lacked the constitutionally-required two-thirds of all the elected members in the St Kitts and Nevis National Assembly to set a two-term limit for prime ministers, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, who introduced the legislation in  was a no show when the time came for the second reading of the “The Tenure of Office of Prime Minister Bill 2015” on Friday, 20 September 2019.
Leader of Government Business in the lawmaking body, Hon Eugene Hamilton told lawmakers that Dr. Harris was not available and no one on the government benches “has been duly authorized, although we can do it as a minister” to move the second reading and begin the debate.
Hamilton, however, proposed that the Bill be removed from the Order Paper and said he will ensure it comes up for debate at a future sitting. No one knows where the prime minister was because visiting diplomats said their meetings with him were cancelled on Friday to allow him to attend the National Assembly session.
“The Constitution is clear as to the steps or procedure the Governor-General should take in appointing a prime minister,” said the analyst, who added that the Bill is not only unconstitutional, but solely to prevent former prime minister and current Leader of the Opposition, The Rt Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas from serving again as prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis.
“Knowing as the polls have indicated that Dr. Douglas will be the next Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis after the upcoming general elections, this bill is the sign of a desperate despot who goes to parliament with this unconstitutional law. This bill is also a continuation of Dr. Harris’ personal vendetta against Dr. Douglas, who has served the people of this country with distinction and whose tenure of office as prime minister has led to the significant strides that St Kitts and Nevis has made, politically, socially and economically,” said the regional analyst, who prefers not to go public at this time.
The opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party in a statement on Friday prior to the reconvening of the National Assembly said The Tenure of Office of Prime Minister Bill “requires the approval of no less than two-thirds of all Elected Representatives and given the balance of power in the current Parliament, the Bill has no prospect of being passed without support from the Opposition.”
“Just like the (Fitzroy) Bryant clause in the 1983 Constitution, this Tenure of Office of Prime Minister Bill, is the (Denzil) Douglas Bill, aimed at preventing him from serving again as prime minister,” the individual said.

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