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Opposition seeks debate, files ‘urgent’ No Confidence Motion in National Assembly

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By Loshaun Dixon

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition has filed a Motion of No Confidence in the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris and are seeking an urgent debate to the matter in the National Assembly.

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Leader of the Opposition the Hon Dr. Denzil Douglas said the Motion was filed with the Clerk of the National Assembly on Tuesday afternoon.

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“I want to emphasize as per the standing order of the rules of the National Assembly, I earlier today gave notice to the Clerk of the National Assembly of a presentation of a Motion of No Confidence in the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and asked that it be noted in the order book of the Assembly for tabling and debate as a matter of urgency.”

Dr. Douglas noted that he has asked that the be tabled Motion of No Confidence at the next sitting of the National Assembly if possible so that it can be debated and disposed of as urgent business.

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He alleged that since Dr. Harris has taken office he has govern in a manner that has seen the worst assault on democracy that this country has experienced in a very long time. When we look around the Federation we in the Parliamentary Opposition are very dismayed and concerned about the levels of corruption conflicts of interest victimization and nepotism that has become the hallmarks of the present administration led by Dr. Harris.

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Dr. Douglas said the Opposition is speaking on behalf of the majority of people in the Federation

“With this motion of No Confidence in Prime Minister Harris being tabled the Parliamentary Opposition is speaking on the authority of the majority of the people of this Federation is saying enough is enough,” Dr. Douglas said. “It is time to break the silence to speak out and stand up. Stand for what is right and just for the people of our proud Federation.”

Addressing the matter on Wednesday, Speaker of the National Assembly the Hon. Micheal Perkins said he revived the Motion of no Confidence on Wednesday and would immediately begin to assess it

“I will begin an assessment of the Motion of No Confidence to determine if it was properly brought before this National Assembly, or have the authority to amend the motion as I see fit and set it down for a subsequent sitting,” Perkins explained on Wednesday right before the Assembly was to meet.”

He noted that any such motion Parliament must be given three clear days notice

“Having received it only yesterday [Tuesday Dec. 11], clearly it is not proper for it to even entertain a debate today. I would have to note here I am already facing particular constraints seeing we are now at the start of our budget discussion, which is likely to continue for a few days,” Perkins said. “Notice has already been given for the next sitting of Parliament on Dec. 19. “I will do my best to address the matter with all the priority and importance it demands.”

Perkins promised to provide more information on the issue after the Parliament session Wednesday

A Motion of No Confidence could see the fall of the Government if majority of elected members in the Parliament votes in its favour forcing the Prime Minister to resign or call an election

It is anticipated this motion will fail

In December 2012 the Hon Mark Brantley-led Opposition filed a Motion of No Confidence in the Dr. Denzil Douglas Administration. That Motion was never heard, prompting then-Opposition members to challenge the then-Speaker Curtis Martin in court

A long legal battle ensued with Speaker Martin refusing to table the motion, citing it is now sub-judice and won’t be heard until the court makes a determination. That prompted other Opposition members to file two further No Confidence Motions in 2013

None of the Motions of No Confidence were ever tabled and elections were called in February 2015 that resulted in the fall of the Denzil Douglas administration

In 2017 the court ruled that the rights that are implicit in section 52-(6) had been violated by the failure of the Speaker to schedule the motion of no confidence for debate, and to be voted on without undue delay and within a reasonable time of the motion being handed to the clerk, or sent, or left at the clerk’s office