The Leader of the Opposition in St. Kitts and Nevis the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas is labelling possible high court action against him by the government as “a waste of time and tax-payers’ money.”
Last week Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis the. Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris indicated the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is set to legally challenge the eligibility of the Leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minster after claims he is the holder of a diplomatic passport of another country.
According to Prime Minister, the investigation into Dr. Douglas’ second passport has revealed that the Leader of the Opposition has a Diplomatic Passport DP0000462 issued by the government of Dominica on the July 30, 2015 and bearing the expiry date February 29, 2020.
“The said passport has listed his nationality as Dominican,” Dr. Harris indicated adding that the former Prime Minister was not a passive holder of that diplomatic passport and has used it on several of his foreign trips.
“In keeping with its pledge to the Federation, the Government continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the issuance of a diplomatic Dominican Passport to the Leader of the Opposition, and the potential consequences for both the federal interest of St. Kitts and Nevis and the best interest of the people of our beloved Federation.”
Dr. Harris further explained that the qualifications required of those elected to sit in the National Assembly are constitutionally defined and are intended to prevent any actual or perceived conflicts of interest arising from split allegiances.
“This provision is intended to protect the people as electors and the country from a person who may be in service to two masters…no one can serve two masters for either he will hate one and love the other or else he will hold on to the one and despise the other. I have deduced there is a prevailing view that Dr. Denzil Douglas is a conflicted being.”
He disclosed that the Government have sought a legal opinion on the results of the investigation so far in pursuit of the public’s interest.
Dr. Douglas, in an address responding to the revelations from PM Harris, stated Dr. Harris has failed as leader of St. Kitts and Nevis and the allegations are just tactics to keep him out of parliament because of his popularity.
“The hogwash which was uttered in the monthly press conference of the prime minister was firstly intended to rekindle his failed leadership. Secondly, it was to threaten with his dictatorial tactics to get me as the Leader of the Opposition and the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party out of Parliament because the polls are indicating that my leadership was far superior to his.”
The former Prime Minister added that whether or not he has a diplomatic passport, he owes no oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth of Dominica.
“I am not a citizen of Dominica. I am not a national of Dominica and have sworn no oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth of Dominica or any other country for that matter. I have made no application for citizenship of Dominica. The only country I have an oath of allegiance to and which I have dedicated my life to is the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis.”
In address possible court action by the government the Leader of the Opposition opined that it was nothing merely than a waste of time.
“Dr. Harris knows and has been advised that what he is attempting to do in making an application to the High Court seeking a declaration that the Leader of the Opposition is no longer eligible to continue sitting as a representative in our National Assembly and to vacate his seat, is a waste of time of the court and tax payers money”.
He continued, “Precedent in the St. Kitts and Nevis Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of the Hon. Dwyer Astaphan case where the High Court ruled that you cannot remove an elected member of the House for any alleged reason of disqualification or otherwise other than by way of an Election Petition”.
He also slammed Dr. Harris’ performance as Prime Minister since taking office in 2015 alleging that Dr. Harris’ deception has been revealed and that he has taken cronyism and nepotism to unprecedented levels.
“Dr. Harris has destroyed the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis with accompanying hardship on the lives of all of our people and, more particularly, those who work in the Tourism sector and the manufacturing enclaves with declining exports to external markets.”