Calls for St Kitts-Nevis unity government described as “act of desperation”

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday May 29, 2013 – St. Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas has described as “an act of desperation” efforts by the opposition, including two former government ministers, to form a government of unity if they are successful in the next general elections.

Dr. Douglas told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that he is confident that his ruling St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) would be returned to office and “the recent posturing by the opposition has brought to the fore the need for the Labour party to prepare to deal with any election”.

Former deputy prime minister Sam Condor and former senior minister Dr. Timothy Harris have already indicated their support for a unity government with the other opposition parties including the main People’s Action Movement (PAM).

The opposition, which now controls six of the 11 elected seats in the Parliament, has gone to the courts to force the Parliament to debate a motion of no confidence in the Douglas administration.

But Prime Minister Douglas told CMC that he the debate would have to be undertaken in accordance with the agenda for the Parliament and more so, the recent court action has delayed the matter coming before the legislative body.

Dr. Douglas insists that he would await the court ruling before the motion is debated, adding “nevertheless we have to be prepared and to be able to treat with the issues”.

The veteran St. Kitts-Nevis politician said that while he agrees that the concept of “unity” he believes the current arrangement being discussed by the opposition is tantamount to “an act of desperation”.

He said the idea of the no confidence motion  “is a conspiracy between the elected members of parliament on the Opposition side and the two Labour members” with the aim of two possible outcomes.

“One is the possible resignation of the Prime Minister and secondly the dissolution of the House of the National Assembly of the Parliament,” Douglas said, adding that the “conspiracy went even beyond that.

“It went beyond that to  the point where the four members on the opposition and the members who were elected on the lLabour party ticket began to articulate that they wished to support each other with a unity government. This of course gives them a majority of six against the five of the Labour party.”

Dr. Douglas said the opposition has been very consistent  in articulating this unity concept since December,  but the Labour party has also been consistent in pointing out that coalition governments are generally unstable and that in the current circumstance, the ruling party records of stability is important to note.

He described as “political prostitution” the unity arrangement being discussed by the opposition, adding that there is no common agenda but just a desire to remove the SKNLP from office.

He said the SKNLP has “taken very strong positions against those in the past who have practiced treachery, hypocrisy and ingratitude” and that “within the party there are examples of persons who have behaved that way and have not been rewarded.

‘I am guided by the Conference of Delegates, who only two weeks ago unanimously removed Harris and Condor from positions they have held with the party and  I have asked the leadership of the party to pay close attention to the various articles of the constitution of the party and if possible, have them expelled,” he told CMC.

Meanwhile, the ppolitical parties that have committed to forming a unity government say they will most likely issue a joint manifesto.  

“We do intend to have joint public meetings.  In terms of a manifesto, the thinking at this time is to have one joint manifesto instead of having separate manifestos,” said PAM leader Shawn Richards.

“I know that the public has been asking quite a number of questions as to when they’re going to see us together in these particular forums.  But it will happen and so we’re saying it’s just a matter of timing when we would do so,” Richards told Winn FM radio.

Political observers believe that Prime Minister Douglas will call an early general election, possibly this year. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)