Minister Richards: Konrad Maynard unprepared for proper representation of the people

From the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Deputy Prime Minister and Parliamentary representative for St. Christopher Five, the Honourable Shawn Richards, is of the strong view that the actions of the Hon. Konris Maynard, particularly in the National Assembly, suggest that the Opposition MP is unfit and unprepared to properly represent the interests of the people of West Basseterre.

The deputy prime minister made that remark at a Team Unity town hall meeting held at the St. Johnston Community Centre March 14.

He criticized the Opposition MP for his lack of representation at the constituency level.

“The Boyd’s Play Field, I have never heard anything about it from the current representative – not a single question as to what is happening at that play field,” he said. “The McKnight Daycare Centre, not a thing about that; Dr. William [Connor] Primary School, nothing about it; Patsy Allers Play Field, nothing about it.

“He never, ever came to ask a question as to what is being done by education, youth sport or culture to help the people in West Basseterre,” Minister Richards added, noting that the only questions he receives concerning the welfare of the residents of West Basseterre are those that come from Senator the Hon. Akilah Byron-Nisbett.

Maynard, the Opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party member of Parliament (MP) for St. Christopher Three, has on several occasions drew the ire of Speaker of the House the Hon. A. Michael Perkins, for “his dishonourable, disrespectful and antagonistic approach to the peaker.”

The novice Parliamentarian was named and immediately suspended from the Feb. 13 sitting of the National Assembly for a period of 10 days for “dishonourable conduct” after being chastised by the speaker for being in violation of the Standing Orders.

Addressing Tuesday’s town hall meeting, Minister Richards said during his more than 10 years as a member of the Opposition, he was never cited for disrespectful conduct toward any speaker of the House.

“From 2004 to 2015, regardless of the circumstances in Parliament, there is no former speaker or current speaker of Parliament who can ever say that Shawn Richards was disrespectful and Shawn Richards not once had ever gotten thrown out of Parliament,” the minister said.

Speaking directly to the constituents of West Basseterre, Minister Richards said, “You have a current representative who was elected in 2015 at the age of 32, a year or so older than I was at the time [of his election], and has already been thrown out of Parliament about two to three times rather than being in there representing you.

“You need a representative, who, regardless of the circumstances, will stay in Parliament and represent you,” Minister Richards continued.

The Feb. 13 incident marked the second time MP Maynard was named by Speaker Perkins for disrespectful behaviour, and the third time that he was asked to withdraw from the Parliament.

On May 23, 2017, he was asked to withdraw and on July 11, 2017, he was named and suspended for five days from the Honourable House.