Diplomatic passport matter brought before speaker of National Assembly

 

Diplomatic passport matter brought before speaker of National Assembly

From the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister

 

Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Honourable Eugene Hamilton, leader of Government Business, has written a formal letter to the speaker of the National Assembly, the Hon. A. Michael Perkins, outlining his concern surrounding the leader of the Opposition, Dr. Denzil Douglas, holding a diplomatic passport of another country while continuing to serve as a sitting member of Parliament.

The letter, dated Oct. 23, was read by the speaker during today’s sitting of the National Assembly, thereby making this diplomatic passport issue a matter of public record.

Minister Hamilton’s letter reads in part as follows:

“I write to you in your capacity as Speaker of the National Assembly of St. Christopher and Nevis, and in advance of the next sitting of the National Assembly slated for November 14th 2017.

“Please be advised that it has recently come to my attention that the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Llewellyn Douglas, Member for St. Christopher 6 and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, has been issued, holds, and has travelled on a diplomatic passport issued by the Commonwealth of Dominica (“Diplomatic Passport”). The Diplomatic Passport was issued on 30 July 2015, and bears passport number DP0000462.

“In my respectful view, the holding of a Diplomatic Passport by the Member for St. Christopher 6 raises implications for his qualification and eligibility to serve as a Member of the National Assembly of St. Christopher and Nevis.

“This is a matter of national importance and great public interest. I consider it my sacred public duty to draw my feelings of dismay and concern to your attention Mr. Speaker in your capacity as the presiding arbiter of the conduct of this Chamber and representative of all its powers, proceedings and dignity.”

 

Perkins, after reading the letter from the Hamilton, said he has “chosen to seek proper advice on the matter.”

Members on the government side of the house have maintained their position that Douglas’ possession of a diplomatic passport of another country, which he has travelled on, is a matter of significant importance. They further maintain that this has far-reaching implications for the proper functioning of the Parliament, particularly as it relates to the composition and democracy of the House of Assembly.