BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 15th, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris – in a statement Thursday, May 12th, concerning the resignation of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Franklin Brand, due to health reasons – reflected on the experience and gravitas that Mr. Brand brought to the position.
“He came as a man already made, a man fit for the purpose and to play the independent role that the Speaker of the National Assembly ought to play,” Prime Minister Harris said.
Mr. Brand’s list of accomplishments includes being co-owner and managing director of Island Bakeries Ltd., in Basseterre, St. Kitts, since 1997. He was also manager of Nevis Bakery Ltd. in Charlestown, Nevis. Before joining the private sector, he was Chief Statistician for the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and also served as Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Trade, Industry, Development and Planning for the NIA.
Mr. Brand is an active member of the Mount Olive Masonic Lodge. He was a member of the Rotary Club of St. Kitts, as well as the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, and also served as President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce. He is a former Director of the Foundation for National Development Enterprise Co-operative Credit Union (FND-ECCU) Ltd., and co-founder of the St. Kitts and Nevis Small Business Forum.
His impressive credentials aside – a man who has distinguished himself in both the private and public sectors – Mr. Brand’s tenure, albeit brief, made an indelible impression on Prime Minister Harris because of the high expectations that he placed on the members of Parliament and also on himself as the Speaker of the House. Essentially, he conducted himself in a manner befitting the position.
Prime Minister Harris said about the situation preceding Mr. Brand’s tenure, “Mr. Brand came after a situation in which the Parliament had basically been demeaned over the 26-month period during which we waited for fresh elections in St. Kitts and Nevis. The Parliament was brought, in my view, to the lowest ebb. What for me was most impressive is that it was clear that Mr. Brand understood that the National Assembly stood as the fulcrum in the representative democracy of St. Kitts and Nevis. In that regard, he wanted the Parliament to become one in which its members behave in a civil manner, one that deals with the broad issues, and he wanted the different ideas coming from different sides of the House being given an opportunity to be aired. He brought a refreshing new breath and a fresh start to the functioning of the Parliament.”
On May 14th, 2015, Mr. Franklin Brand was inaugurated Speaker during the Ceremonial Opening of Parliament under the Team Unity Administration, which won a resounding election victory on February 16th, 2015.
Approximately one year to the day, the Prime Minister said he has only one regret about Mr. Brand’s tenure as Speaker: that it had to be cut short due to health reasons.
“My only regret at this time, and grave regret, is that due to health challenges, that those issues were such that he could not serve the country in this critical role for as long as we had contemplated when he first assumed office. I want to extend to him, to his family and close friends all the very best wishes, and I hope that the country will give him the opportunity to recover and recuperate, as he must at this particular moment in time. While we are disappointed that the deterioration of his health has led us to where we are at, we take courage and take delight at the fact that he served well so we thank him for his service,” Prime Minister Harris said.