The Order Paper has been circulated for a Sitting of the National Assembly to be held at the National Assembly Chambers, Government Headquarters, Basseterre, on Tuesday 14th November, 2017, at 10:00 am.
Several Bills will come before the House, one for its first reading and two for their second readings.
However all eyes will be focused on the sitting as it is widely speculated that Opposition Leader Dr. Denzil Douglas will be a “NO-SHOW” at the sitting. The recent stunning revelation of his possession of a Diplomatic Passport of Dominica has brought what is a breach of the constitution into light.
Since the revelation The Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government remains firm on its position that the Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Denzil Douglas is not qualified to be represented in the National Assembly of St. Kitts and Nevis, as it has been found that he is the holder of a Diplomatic Passport of the Commonwealth of Dominica.
The Diplomatic Passport, which bears the number DP0000462, lists Dr. Douglas’ nationality as Dominican.
Prime Minister Harris, while addressing a large audience of citizens and residents at a town hall meeting on Sunday, 5th November at the Edgar T. Morris Primary School, stated this matter raises a serious legal question as to whether or not the Opposition Leader is eligible to continue sitting as a Parliamentary Representative.
Interestingly Dr. Douglas himself opposed the idea when during his tenure as Prime Minister, opposed the idea of elected parliamentary representatives holding dual citizenship and, in 2009, played an instrumental role in bringing several pieces of legislation to Parliament that amended the National Assembly Elections Act, thereby reinforcing Section 28 of the Constitution. This resulted in now Ministers of Govermnet Deputy Prime Minister Hon Shawn Richards and Hon Lindsay Grant both having to renounce their citizenship of the US in order to stand as candidates for the 2010 elections.
With the breach hanging over his head it is highly unlikely that Dr.Douglas will show up for the sitting as his presence will enable the breach to be highlighted in the assembly and possible actions taken to have him be legally removed as an MP.
Dr. Douglas loyalty to country has come into for serious questioning over the last year . In the recently concluded Independence Celebrations Dr. Douglas was a NO-SHOW at all the National Independence Celebrations events including the Indpendence Service, National Heroes Ceremony , Inpendence Day Parade and the traditional Toast to the Nation. Over the last weekend he was absent at the perennial veterans remembrance day ceremony at the WAR Memorial.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Has stressed that the decent and honourable thing for Opposition Leader Douglas is to come clean in relation to the matter and to declare fully all information related to his acquisition of the Diplomatic Passport of Dominica.
Prime Minister Harris added, “If he has any integrity, if he is concerned about the democracy in St. Kitts and Nevis, I call upon him to leave the Parliament, and if Douglas refuses to go voluntarily then we will ask the court to debar him from the Parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
That final statement on the matter by PM Harris has no doubt resonated with PM Douglas and his expected absence from the parliament certainly suggests that nthe call made by PM Harris is a legitmate one and one based and entrenched in law.
Despite his expected absence The Honourable Attorney General and Minister responsible for Justice and Legal Affairs, the Honourable Vincent Byron, will seek leave to introduce and have read a first time Magistrate’s Code of Procedure (Amendment) Bill and also will seek leave to introduce and have read a second time Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill 2017, which had its first reading on July 11th, 2017.
In addition, the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Finance et al. will seek leave to introduce and have read a second time, Saint Christopher and Nevis Citizenship (CBI Escrow Accounts) Bill 2017, which had its first reading on June 13th, 2017.
The National Assembly will be carried live on ZIZ Radio (96.1 FM) and participating radio stations. It can also be viewed live on TV Channel 5 in St. Kitts and Channel 98 in Nevis. It will also be streamed live at https://zizonline.com/tv/channel-5/
Copies of the Bills can be found on the website (sknis.kn) of the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service under Notices.