Basseterre (8th July 2020 )– The new term of the St. Kitts & Nevis National Assembly opened in Basseterre today, (Wednesday, 8th July, 2020), with all seats on the opposition benches remaining empty.
According to MiyVue News The two elected Representatives from the St. Kitts & Nevis Labour Party, Dr. Denzil Douglas and Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, were expected to be among the Assembly members who were to be sworn-in for the 2020-2025 life of the parliament.
In addition to Douglas and Hanley, the appointment and swearing-in of an opposition senator was also anticipated, but that too did not materialize.
While giving very brief remarks of appreciation and acknowledgement for his re-election to preside over the law-making body for a new term, Speaker Michael Perkins did not provide an explanation, saying instead that he would reserve all other comments for the closing period of the sitting.
The Opposition has come in for widespread conedemnation over their “NO-SHOW”. Citizens took to social media to express their outrage and disgust over what they saw as a total dereliction of the duties of the Oppositon members as representatives of their respective constituencies. It is widely speculated that the NO-SHOW was asa result partly of internal wranglings in the Labour Party. According to inside sources Newcomer Hon. Jeffrey Hanley has been making a pitch for the position of Leader of the Opposition. However Party Leader Dr. Denzil Douglas has repoirtedly flatly rejected the idea of Hanley as Opposition Leader. This led to an impasse which resulted in the opposition taking the decision not to show for the Opening session.
Team Unity which comprises a coalition of the PLP, CCM and PAM won the June 5th elections in a landslide 9-2. The elections were described by the two non-governmental groups that monitored the polls , (one from local civil society organizations and the other from CARICOM), as a free expression and will of the electorate.