says framework on way forward was laid out
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – AS tension mounts over where the Government, and by extension the country goes from here following the perceived failed discussions yesterday (Apr. 14) among the three Team Unity Leaders, Prime Minister Timothy Harris confirmed that a framework for the way forward was laid out. The Leaders of the People’s Action Movement (Shawn Richards), the People’s Labour Party (Dr. Harris) and the Concerned Citizens Movement (Mark Brantley) met last week to iron out their differences that came to light, and the two of them (Richards and Brantley) laid out their plans and gave Prime Minister Harris a week to consider some of their proposals. Now, following the second meeting, it was revealed that those proposals and discussions did not bear fruit. In a national address to update the nation on the meeting, Dr. Harris revealed that a code of conduct for “the better function of Cabinet” was part of the framework he laid on the table. “I further proposed that all ministries should be subject to greater accountability to the Cabinet through regular reporting so that members may be better apprised,” Harris said. That announcement comes as it was revealed that members of the Cabinet are not fully aware of the state of the country’s finances, especially the Citizenship By Investment programme. Dr. Harris addressed the request for portfolios to be reassigned. “I committed to undertake a review of the makeup of the Cabinet in due course, with a view to improving efficiency and effectiveness of the Government as a whole. I made it clear that I could not allow the constitutional prerogative of the Office of the Prime Minister to be diminished. On the issue of fair share of proceeds from the CBI programme for Nevis, Dr. Harris announced that the World Bank has given “its consent to undertake a study to advice on equitable revenue sharing arrangement between the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration. “In the interim, the budgetary support to our sister island of Nevis has been increased as per the request from the Honourable Premier,” added Harris. The Prime Minister conceded that the recent political events over the last several weeks did create anxiety and discomfort for some in society, and it is against that backdrop he noted that he is committed to bringing the current situation to an end. Harris opined that the country needs a Cabinet that would address pressing issues, such as job creation, cost of living along with peace and security, among others at this time. The PM noted that he is open for further discussion on the way forward, since not all recommendations put forward could be acted upon.