I have previously stated that our sham of The Saint Christopher and Nevis Constitution Order that was made on the 22 nd June 1983 and came into operation on the 23 rd June 1983 was a quarter-baked flawed, and biased document that was designed to give The Government of St Kitts the upper hand in the management of the State of St Kitts And Nevis. Now that the constitution has been tried and manipulated with certain expressed and implied provisions ignored, the political vocalists and messengers of the governing coalition of the Labour/NRP Federal government are now expressing their disapprovals of the inclusion of S113, thirty one years after the operation of the constitution. As a reminder to those who had had access to the Constitution Order of 1983 of Saint Christopher and Nevis, and a source of information for those who had not, I would like to repeat the relevant sub-sections of the ignoble S113. S113(1).- The Nevis Island Legislature may provide that the island of Nevis shall cease to be federated with the Island of Saint Christopher and accordingly that this constitution shall no longer have effect in the island of Nevis. S113 (2) – A bill for the purposes of subsection (1) shall not be regarded as being passed by the assembly unless on its final reading the bill is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the elected members of the assembly and such a bill shall not be submitted to the Governor General for his assent unless- There has been an interval of not less than ninety days between the introduction of the bill in the Assembly and the beginning of the proceedings in the Assembly on the second reading of the bill; After it has been passed by the Assembly, the bill has been approved on a referendum held in the island of Nevis by not less than two-thirds of all the votes validly cast on that referendum ; and Full and detailed proposals for the future constitution of the island of Nevis (whether as a separate state or as part of, or in association with some other country) have been laid before the Assembly for at least six months before the holding of the referendum and those proposals, with adequate explanations of their significance, have been made available to the persons entitled to vote on the referendum at least ninety days before the holding of the referendum. One can see a bitterly prohibitive entrenched clause that has been inserted in subsection 113(2) (b). It is a paralytic clause that has been introduced with the sole intention of making secession virtually impossible. If one followed the chain of events during the discussions between the late Dr Simeon Daniel and Dr Kennedy Simmonds at the Constitutional Conference, one would realise that arguments ensued between them over the question of “who got what”over the joint Independence for St Kitts and for Nevis. Mr Daniel demanded that Nevis must be given the right to secede from the quarter- baked Federation if, at a later date, circumstances did not turn out in Nevis’ favour. There was an implied threat from Dr Daniel that if there was not an agreement with his request, he would not recommend that Nevis entered into the proposed federation.Dr Simmonds tentatively agreed with the insertion of Section 113 but with the addition of the entrenched clause as his security. It was a mug’s game. From what transpired from the conference was that each party literally fought tenaciously to gain the upper hand as a symbol for saving face. At the end of the day the Simmonds’ contingent got what they were looking for. The final outcome produced the imperfect constitution, much, however, to the advantage of the Simmonds’ contingent. This has produced the classic imperfect and flawed constitution of St. Christopher & Nevis that is here to plague us today. Even though the Federal Constitution has accorded to St.Kitts an overwhelming position in the Unbalanced House of Assembly, members of the prevailing Labour group together with its recently acquired collaborators- the NRP group are currently calling for the reform of the constitution with the view to the removal of Section 113. As a matter of fact, it is apparently senseless to deep-thinking individuals for such a call, because if it stays in, it is of not much value to Nevisians in its present form. St. Kitts has virtually everything in its favour from the constitution as it is. The ball would be more sensibly placed in Nevis’Court for her to call for a reform of Section 113(2) (b) to reduce the ridiculously inflated requirement of not less than two-thirds to the more sensible and practical majority of 51% of all the votes validly cast in a referendum. This rare and pernicious requirement has always been overlooked all over the world and viewed with derision and scorn. As recently as on the 18 th September, the requirement for the Scottish Referendum was bare 51% of the votes cast. In the Basque Region of Northern Spain, they are asking for a similar 51%. Why the St Kitts contingent demanded a 66.6% majority in the Nevis’ referendum? One can clearly deduce the sinister reason for Dr Simmonds’ requirement of a two-thirds majority; by his calculation, he knew that it was a very difficult if not an impossible feat for the then NRP to achieve, but, in order to pacify the late Dr Daniel’s requirement, and to encourage him to get on board for independence, he tried that prank and succeeded for awhile. The crippling sub-section 113(2)(b) went unnoticed for a short while; it came to the attention of the Nevisian public in 1989 shortly after the failure of the referendum of that year, and Nevisian folks began to look at the section again and realised that it was, and still is the stumbling block. This defect has to be rectified immediately or as soon as it is humanly possible. It cannot be allowed to go on festering for an indefinite period of time; if time is allowed to drag without rectification, Nevis would degenerate to the status of a humble toothless puppy to be continually manipulated by an expansionist St Kitts who has already displayed the hall marks of a dominant partner who has lost all sense of a cooperative well-being. The time for this political madness to stop is now ; the lawfully elected government of Nevis must immediately put into action a plan to terminate the political madness that has engulfed Nevis for this uncomfortable and extended period of time. All able-bodied Nevisians must close ranks: – forget their political affiliations: – declare a truce on their political hostilities, and cooperate effectively to draw up meaningful development plans for a future and prosperous Nevis.
- 4 years ago
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