BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, June 8, 2020 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — Following the unprecedented nine-seat victory by Team Unity at the June 5 General Election, Team Unity Leader Dr the Hon Timothy Harris was Sunday morning (June 7) sworn in at Government House in Basseterre as the Federation’s Prime Minister for a second term.
The historic ceremony was hosted by Governor General His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, GCMG, CVO, QC, JP, LL.D, while Resident Judge His Lordship Trevor Ward QC administered the oaths of allegiance, office and secrecy.
“I am very pleased to recognise and welcome His Lordship Justice Trevor Ward QC, Resident Judge, who will administer the Oath of Office, the Oath of Allegiance, and the Oath of Secrecy,” said the Governor General. “They will go in the order in terms of the Oath of Allegiance first, then the Oath of Office, and then the Oath of Secrecy.”
The Governor General added: “And so, in this short but very formal and significant ceremony I now have the pleasure to invite his Lordship Justice Trevor Ward QC to come forward and to administer the oaths to Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, the Prime Minister.”
After all the three oaths were administered and papers duly signed by all the parties, Governor General His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, said: “May I be the first to congratulate Dr the Hon Timothy Harris on his appointment as the Prime Minister and to invite him to deliver some remarks. May I also thank the Lordship for administering the oaths.”
The ceremony was also attended by Leader of the People’s Action Movement (PAM), the Hon Shawn Richards, Cabinet Secretary Mrs Josephine Huggins, resident ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan His Excellency Tom Lee, and Miss Shaiyan Harris, a daughter of the Prime Minister.
In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Harris said: “Your Excellency, our esteemed, Governor General, Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, I want also to thank you Your Excellency for facilitating my taking of the oaths this morning, and to thank you for the support you have given during my first tenure in the Office of the Prime Minster and I look forward to your continuing wise counsel and support.”
Dr Harris, who is the National Political Leader of the Peoples Labour Party (PLP) which is one of the three political parties in the Team Unity coalition, said it was a historic day as he reflected on his early life as a son of a housewife Ms Margaret Harris born in St. Kitts and a sugar worker Mr Godfrey Nisbett born on the island of Nevis.
“It is an honour for me to have the opportunity of being sworn in for the second time as the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr Harris. “It is a signal honour and moment that I never envisaged nor had I within my plans growing up in the petite village of Tabernacle where there were the sea, mountains, hills, and sugar lands around me.”
The swearing on Sunday, said the Honourable Prime Minister, was the successful outcome of the country’s vibrant democracy and political processes. He gave thanks to God, prayer warriors on the islands of St. Christopher and Nevis, and those overseas who prayed for him throughout the campaign. He also thanked several local pastors and reverends who would call him and volunteer to intercede.
The Prime Minister said that times ahead are certainly going to be challenging in the context of Covid-19 and noted that the Cabinet must get to work real soon building on the platform of success. He advised that during the course of the week they will be in a position to announce the makeup of the new Cabinet which he believed would be one that would help advance the people of St. Kitts and Nevis to the stronger and safer future.
“Our deputy has been discussing with me ideas regarding the customary public holiday,” observed Dr Harris. “So at some point in time we will crystallise that and make that known, and we are hoping that His Excellency our Governor General will be gracious enough to find favour with our request. We have a little time to consult on that and we will get back to the public who have been asking if Monday (June 8) is a holiday. The answer is no because we have not yet decided, but by Monday we certainly will let you know which day.”