St Kitts’ Deputy PM condemns Dr Tim Harris’ Sacking by Dougie – What is Sam Condor’s Next Move?

At 10pm on the night of Friday, January 25th, 2013, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas took to the airwaves of ZIZ Radio and Television to inform the Nation, that he had that day dismissed Senior Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, from the Cabinet.

While it is within the purview of the Prime Minister’s authority to appoint or disappoint members of the Cabinet, it is equally true that that authority must be exercised prudently and fairly, in this most delicate process.

I can find no justification in the reasons postulated by the Hon. Prime Minister for the dismissal of Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, who as an Elected Member of Parliament, stood in duty and in conscience to articulate deep concerns regarding the impact that certain Bills before Parliament could have on our Nation and Nation’s people.

Dr. Harris stood in accordance with his oath, as he was obligated to do and to do without fear or favour. Indeed, the law of the land protects him in that regard.

An example is The National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap. 2.04 of the Laws of Saint Christopher and Nevis (Revised Edition 2002). Section 10 (b) states as follows:

Any person who…endeavours to compel any member by force, insult or menace to declare himself or herself in favour of or against any proposition or matter pending or expected to be brought before the National Assembly or any committee…commits an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding seven hundred and fifty dollars, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or both.

As such, I am of the view that this decision taken against Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris is wrong, ill-conceived and not in the best interest of national stability and unity.

{IMAGE VIA - thestkittsnevisobserver.com} "It is well documented that Dr. Harris and I are both opposed to the Bills regarding the Land for Debt Swap and the Increase in Senators, on the ground that they are contrary to the best interest of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. And mindful as we are of the fact that the philosophy and tradition of the Labour Party has always been in keeping with the aspirations for empowerment of the masses of this our beloved country. We are committed servants to this philosophy."

{IMAGE VIAthestkittsnevisobserver.com} “It is well documented that Dr. Harris and I are both opposed to the Bills regarding the Land for Debt Swap and the Increase in Senators, on the ground that they are contrary to the best interest of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. And mindful as we are of the fact that the philosophy and tradition of the Labour Party has always been in keeping with the aspirations for empowerment of the masses of this our beloved country. We are committed servants to this philosophy.”

In this regard therefore, I am of the considered view that our position taken is principled and morally and philosophically correct.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, in taking a stand against what he believed to be an unjust Vietnam War, said “my conscience leaves me with no other choice”. Those are exactly my sentiments in this matter.

Accordingly, I contend that it cannot be just or right to penalize/victimize Dr. Harris, a conscientious servant of the people, for taking a stand that is principled and just. True stalwarts of Labour and all people of conscience would condemn such heavy handed action by Prime Minister Douglas against Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris.

Further, the Prime Minister’s claim that Dr. Harris has been uncooperative, because of a desire to be Prime Minister, is unfounded and lends itself to the maligning of Dr. Harris.

Frankly, there is far too much at stake, at this time of mounting crisis in our country. We must not allow ourselves to be distracted by side shows and postulating which have brought the country to this moment of crisis in the first place.

Benjamin Franklin observed that “the cause for liberty, justice and truth, is a cause for all mankind”.

“Stand therefore, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place”. Ephesians 6:14-NIV

I place on record our profound appreciation for the overwhelming show of solidarity, through the prayers and encouragement received. We give praise and thanks to Almighty for His undergirding and guidance.

God be our help, guide and stay.

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