St Kitts and Nevis: ’Petty’ government cannot remove me, says Douglas

Denzil Douglas.
Last updated: 23 November 2017, 5:36 pm

The former prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis has chastised the partisanship of senior political figures as they continue to make reference to his removal from parliament.

And Denzil Douglas, who leads the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party in opposition, has dismissed what he describes as a “political game” by Prime Minister Timothy Harris.

Douglas has been under the spotlight since the beginning of October, after Harris claimed he had uncovered that Douglas held a diplomatic passport issued by Dominica.

During the sitting of parliament last week, Speaker Michael Perkins read a letter sent to him by Leader of Government Business Eugene Hamilton, which detailed the accusations.

Perkins added that he took matters regarding “the very composition of the parliament” seriously, feeling it necessary to “seek proper advice”.

Although he was absent from the house, Douglas told WIC News: “The speaker, unfortunately, is playing to the government side and gallery, and that is not good.

“Because you would expect that the speaker would at least not allow himself to be partisan in a matter as sensitive and as critical as this.”

Constitutional basis?

Vincent Byron Jr, the federation’s attorney general, announced last week that he had made moves to take the dual citizenship matter to court as “we have evidence that the member for number six has a diplomatic passport that states in it that he is a Dominican national.”

“This government is deeply concerned that we should have someone who sits in our parliament who is in a position to be disqualified,” he said later in the session.

Attorney General Vincent Byron.

Section 36 of the constitution has been cited by the government as the basis for their case.

But the former prime minister believes the government is wasting their time.

“If you listen to him, and the quotation on the constitution, it says nothing about a member who has already been sitting for almost three years, it speaks to getting in to the parliament,” said Douglas.

“I have been sitting for the last three years. And even if there is a query with regards to my continuation to sit, that’s not the way to do it.”

Perkins greeted him warmly when the pair met in parliament on Thursday, Douglas added, but the SKNLP party is confused as to “why he is allowing the parliament to be used as a football playing ground.”

When asked if recent events upset him, Douglas said “of course”, but he told WIC News that the whole situation is “very petty” and stems from Harris’ “refusal, against all policy guidelines, to present the leader of the opposition – a former prime minister – a diplomatic passport.”

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