Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis calls for the dissolution of Parliament.

Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis calls for the dissolution of Parliament.

ST.KITTS/NEVIS,  May 11, 2022 - The Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Timothy Harris, announced on Tuesday that he had asked Governor Tupley Seaton to dissolve parliament with immediate effect, following the announcement of the dismissals of several ministers including his deputy, Shawn Richards,who was at the time attending a funeral service overseas and Nevis Premier Mark Brantley.

Harris, who was due to face a motion of no-confidence submitted by six members of the coalition National Unity government, told the country in a radio and television broadcast that he would soon announce the date for the general election.

“I have confidence in the people of St Kitts-Nevis, and I strongly believe in their right to choose their representatives in free and fair general elections. The time for decision- making is at hand. Accordingly, I have asked the governor general to dissolve the parliament of St Kitts-Nevis, effective today, May 10, 2022.

The Prime Minister said he would announce when general elections will be held. However, according to the constitution, after the dissolution of parliament, elections must be held within 90 days, August 11.

Harris confirmed that since the letter expressing that he be removed as Prime Minister was submitted to the Governor-General on April 21, the six members of Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) and People’s Action Movement (PAM) who signed, namely, the Hon. Shawn Richards, Hon. Mark Brantley, the Hon. Lindsay Grant, the Hon. Jonel Powell, the Hon. Alexis Jeffers and the Hon. Eric Evelyn have not attended Cabinet.

He named long-time PAM legislator Eugene Hamilton who recently indicated to PAM that he has no intention of continuing as a candidate in the party, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Infrastructure, Posts and Urban Development previously held by Shawn Richards. He also allocated the ministries of the dismissed government legislators to the remaining Cabinet ministers, including Attorney General Vincent Byron.

 “As I said earlier, government must continue to function in the interests of the people. As such, I have advised the Governor-General to reassign the portfolios of those members of parliament that have been removed. The Honorable Wendy Phipps will assume the additional responsibility for Tourism and Transport, including Ports, the Hon. Attorney-General, the Hon. Vincent Byron will assume the additional responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Aviation, Education, Youth and Sports. The Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett, in addition to her responsibilities, will have added the portfolio for Culture. The subjects of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources and the Environment will be brought under the Ministry of Sustainable Development,” The Prime Minister said.

In response to being relieved of duty, Mark Brantley in a Faxebook post expressed that he is saddened to the report that he was fired: “I have not been fired for lack of performance because many locally and regionally have said that my performance as Foreign Minister has been exceptional. No, I and my colleagues have been fired because we decided that we will stand up for principle and for what is right. We have been fired because we decided we shall stand up for our country and for a better future for our people. We decided that Team Unity was, is and will always be more than just one man’s greed and insatiable appetite for power and self-aggrandizement. ”

Dismissed Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards  said "he was sacked by Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris while he was overseas attending a funeral earlier this week.

Richards told reporters at the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport that after Prime Minister Harris made his national broadcast on Tuesday, “a number of people called and told me what was said.

Before Dr. Harris gave his remarks, I was told that he would give a statement. After a statement was given, a number of people called and told me what was said. Interestingly, I was overseas attending a funeral and on my way back, I was informed of this particular development,” said Leader of the People’s Action Movement Shawn Richards in a media briefing Wednesday (May. 11) at the RLB International Airport. 

The announcement of dissolution follows months of political turmoil and local and regional coverage of the political sphere in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis that led to six members of the Team Unity Administration to write to the Governor-General of the loss of confidence in the Prime Minister. Subsequently, the six members of PAM and CCM filed a Motion of No Confidence file on April 25.

 

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