Parliament Speaker’s resignation leaves gap to be filled during next session

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Franklin O. Brand steps down for health reasons

St. Kitts and Nevis will have a new Parliamentary speaker this month or early next month when the National Assembly meets. This is a result of resignation of the current speaker Franklin Brand who resigned effective April 30.

A government press release issued Thursday morning my Valencia Grant, press secretary to the Prime Minister states:

“The Federal Cabinet has today announced with regret that the Hon. Franklin R. O. Brand, Speaker of the National Assembly, has resigned his post due to health reasons. It was noted by a Cabinet spokesperson that Mr. Brand had been facing health challenges for some time, which resulted in the proceedings of the National Assembly being chaired for some time by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Senator Michael Perkins.”

Sources close to Mr. Brand told The Observer he is a close friend of Prime Minister Dr. The Honourable Timothy Harris. Immediately before and after the January 16 national elections, Mr. Brand was thought to have lived at the Brands Harbour View home. It was Prime Minister Dr.The Hon.Timothy Harris who nominated Mr.Brand to be speaker last May when the new parliament first met.

The source could not say the current state of the Brand-Harris friendship.

Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris was quoted in Thursday morning’s press release commenting about Mr. Brand’s departure, “One can recall that the previous Denzil Douglas-led regime brought our Parliament into disrepute, thereby making it the laughing stock of CARICOM.  This, as we all know, resulted in our sinking to the lowest ebb in our history with the travesty that took place on Jan. 16, 2015 regarding the hastily convened Parliament, simply to approve last-minute boundary changes in order to gain an electoral advantage for an incumbent Government that had fallen out of favour with the electorate of this Country.’’

Mr. Brand was elected Speaker just under a year ago.

Brand, a shrewd businessman, was a founding member of The Concerned Citizens Movement and served as Minister for Tourism and Business in the first CCM administration in Nevis.

It is unclear if the current Deputy Speaker, Senator Micheal Perkins will continue as deputy speaker, or be elected speaker and another senator/deputy speaker elected when Parliament meets.

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