Is St Kitts heading for a Riot? Will Dougie be a Caribbean Chavez? Radio Personality arrested as Cabinet Ministers erupt!

FERGIE ARRESTED FOR TAKING PHOTO OF THE SPEAKER
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It has been reported on WINN FM that Local businessman and former Host of the popular WINN FM Talk Show Paul “Fergie” Ferguson was arrested and taken into police custody in relation to an alleged photo that was taken of Speaker of the House Curtis Martin over the weekend.

According to sources in SKN, Fergie was charged with threatening language, freed on $1,000 bail with one surety, the former radio celevrity was represented by Lawyer Chesley Hamilton

According to sources in SKN, Fergie was charged with threatening language, freed on $1,000 bail with one surety, the former radio celebrity was represented by Lawyer Chesley Hamilton, Bajan Reporter appreciates our Eyes & Ears across the waters ;)

The photo apparently shows a very healthy looking Martin socializing on the popular Frigate Bay Strip.

The photos were allegedly taken within hours after the speaker sent word to the Clerk of the National assembly that he would not be able to attend the National Assembly meeting due to illness...

The photos were allegedly taken within hours after the speaker sent word to the Clerk of the National assembly that he would not be able to attend the National Assembly meeting due to illness…

JOINT STATEMENT BY HON SAM CONDOR, M.P. FOR ST. CHRISTOPHER #3 AND DR THE HON TIMOTHY HARRIS, M.P. FOR ST CHRISTOPHER #7 IN RESPONSE TO THE NATIONAL ADDRESS BY PRIME MINISTERDOUGIEDOUGLAS ON MONDAY

We are disappointed and concerned over the statement made by the Prime Minister on Monday 10 December 2012 on ZIZ Radio and Television in which he announced the postponement of the Budget Debate set for today, Tuesday, December 11, 2012. The Prime Minister, in our view, unfairly sought to put the reason for the postponement on the absence of two members of the Cabinet for pre Budget consultations.

The Prime Minister ought to have been made aware by the Cabinet Secretary that on Wednesday, December 05th, we both appeared for Cabinet. We were among the first to arrive. The Prime Minister himself was not yet available for Cabinet when we left nigh two hours after the proposed schedule start of Cabinet. The Cabinet Secretary circulated the agenda for a meeting to be held on Monday, December 10, 2012. When we look at that agenda we would find that it contained five (5) Cabinet Submissions, and three (3) Cabinet Memos none of which mentioned anything about pre Budget discussions or consultations. It was therefore difficult to understand why the Prime Minister gave the public the impression that we knowingly avoided such discussions. The Prime Minister and Dr the Hon Timothy Harris had met on Monday during the afternoon hours. On that occasion, Dr Harris told the Prime Minister that he was unavailable on account of certain urgent matters.

The Prime Minister has never allowed the absence of members of his Cabinet to prevent him from pursuing his agenda. Indeed the Prime Minister has, inspite of the attendance and position of members of his Cabinet, pursued these matters of importance to him in and outside of the Cabinet.

Recent examples include:

1. Our strong opposition to the Senators (Increase in Numbers Bill) 2012. Despite our strong opposition to the Bill, the Prime Minister took the matter to the National Assembly and even on the very day when he was reminded of our position by the Hon Sam Condor, insisted that the Bill be tabled for 3 readings at the sitting of Parliament November 21, 2012.

2. The Prime Minister pursued the passage of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Vesting of Certain Lands Bill without consultation and respect for our views on this matter. Indeed even when we spoke publicly in Parliament against the Bill, and took objection to the disrespectful treatment of ourselves, the Prime Minister’s response to this very serious matter impacting on our history, our patrimony, our development and future opportunities for land ownership, was to push the Bill through the Parliament for its three (3) readings. To complete that feat, the agenda of the Parliament endured for one of its longest and latest sittings.

The public may well judge whether our presence at Cabinet yesterday would have changed anything in the proposed Budget for 2013. Truth be told, while Cabinet was going on, the government printery had already started printing the Budget. Nothing said yesterday could have affected the 2013 Budget presentation which was already scheduled for 10:00 am today, Tuesday.

The crucial Budget Estimates were discussed and approved at the Estimates Committee Meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Hon Prime Minister at which both of us (Condor and Harris) were present. Not all Ministers were present at that crucial pre Budget meeting and at least one of the Ministers did not attend even the presentation by his own Ministry. There was no public identification of that absent Minister at that important pre Budget exercise.

We would therefore welcome more evenhandedness and fairness by our Prime Minister and we would welcome a new era of comradery and consultations. We remain determined to meet our public responsibilities with excellence in execution.

The people of the country have indicated clearly that they cannot bear more taxes, more surcharges, or increases in electricity. We, of course, support relief for the poor, the vulnerable, and the sick. We support relief to the thousands of people who are out there unable to find work. On these matters we all agree. We have never hesitated to ensure that the poor and vulnerable are properly taken care of. To suggest otherwise would be wrong and misleading.

We are the sons of poor people. We have lived in poverty. We understand it and we champion the cause of the poor for affordable education, for health care, for electricity and land among other matters important for their improving quality of life. We champion the cause for a decent life and living for all of our people.

We are the sons of poor people. We have lived in poverty. We understand it and we champion the cause of the poor for affordable education, for health care, for electricity and land among other matters important for their improving quality of life. We champion the cause for a decent life and living for all of our people.

However, we believe that things must be done right. The Prime Minister should not create the false impression that two (2) members are standing in the way of the Budget. The 2013 Budget can be presented anytime between now and March 2013. Since the Budget is for 2013, no proposal in it will affect our lives in 2012. Our Prime Minister and Minister of Finance knows, that the 2013 Budget can be presented before or not later than sixty (60) days after the beginning of the financial year. There is no impediment to the presentation of the Budget or Appropriation Bill within the legal timeframe and in particular between January 01 and March 2013. Successive administrations have on occasions presented the Budget for the calendar year under consideration within the first quarter of that year.

The Prime Minister, in our view, is attempting to blame us wrongly and unfairly. We expect better from the Prime Minister especially at this time of difficulty and uncertainty. We condemn all efforts to scandalize us. We stand ready to cooperate on any matter of importance to our democracy and development.

We love our people. It is our love for the people that has motivated us to stand and to fight for justice – our justice and more importantly that of our people. It is our love for country that keeps us going even in these difficult times and even in the face of threats. We ask for the continuing prayers of the Comrades of the Party and the good citizens and residents of our country. We wish to thank our constituents for their steadfast support and understanding at this critical time.

Because of the current stand-by arrangement with the IMF, this Budget must have the support of the IMF. The Prime Minister knows that the Budget’s most critical test is to satisfy the structural and financial targets of the IMF. We appreciate that there is little financial space for the Prime Minister and Cabinet with respect to the 2013 Budget and indeed all Budgets until we repay the IMF loan and grow the economy sustainably over time.

In that regard, taking account all that we have said before, our absence at the recent Cabinet meeting could not be the reason for the postponement of the 2013 Budget. The public perception that we were in fact hindering the presentation of the Budget was a wrong one and the context of the wide dissemination of that address and the concern which it raised, we felt that it was important that we clear the air and set the record straight with respect to the matter of the Budget presentation and our involvement with all matters related thereto.

We want to thank the members of the public who called to inquire as to our position on the matter, and we wish to thank them for the understanding, that we stand solidly with the people, for the people and for the country. We thank them for their confidence in us in our work and in our history of performance in the best tradition, in the public interest. We wish to thank WinnFM radio for allowing us this opportunity to make this statement.

Thank you very much for listening and may God continue to bless our country and allow us to overcome our many challenges and rise to a dawn of a much more prosperous country and people. Thank You. {Ed’s. NoteBoth Articles and most of the pictures were sourced via Facebook from the St Kitts-Nevis Times}

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