More Scandal For St. Kitts – Nevis Government
Basseterre, St.Kitts – Nevis
People’s Action Movement
March 03, 2010
In his usual arrogance Prime Minister Douglas has again found himself in serious constitutional trouble. In his haste to cement his weakening authority and undermine the influence of the Hon. Timothy Harris he appointed to Cabinet every single member on the government benches. He even co-opted the NRP representative as Attorney General and has left himself with no options with regard to the absolute constitutional requirement of a Deputy Speaker.
There is no escape clause from 32 (3) of the constitution which states that the only parliamentary business that can be conducted after the first business of appointing a Speaker of the National Assembly is the appointment of a Deputy Speaker. No parliamentary business can be conducted otherwise. With the only possibility on the opposition bench ensconced in the Attorney General’s chambers the Prime Minister is in a quandary. No member on the opposition benches will accept this position because the speaker and deputy must be neutral so that party would essentially be giving up one of its voices in the National Assembly. On the other hand the government has a plethora of voices and the Federation with its catastrophic National Debt can do with one less ministerial salary.
Speculation is rife that that Nigel Carty or Richard Skerritt will have to find a more lucrative salary elsewhere as one of them may soon be stripped of his portfolio. In light of the serious allegations made in a court affidavit that came to light during the election campaign it is likely that Prime Minister Douglas will use this opportunity to relieve himself of a political liability in Nigel Carty. He will likely end up like the losing Labour candidates as a superfluous advisor to some Ministry to the burden of the taxpayer but the country will be spared the embarrassment of his scandal in the Cabinet.
The other choice that Prime Minister Douglas can make is to simply violate the constitution yet again by attempting to appoint another senator. In that case the court will have more work to do because yet another injunction will fetter the work of parliament.
In addressing the issue the Hon. Shawn K. Richards said “Prime Minister Douglas created this mess for himself and he will have to deal with the consequences. The bright side for the country in this matter is that Douglas will have one less sycophant in the Cabinet,”