By: Spokesman Newsroom
BASSSETERRE, St.Kitts (TUESDAY 23RD JANUARY, 2018)– Today, using the provision of the Personal Explanation item in the House of Assembly, Opposition Leader and immediate former Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, who is the Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Six, dismissed a rumour purportedly from the government bench side that he has resigned.
However, in a turn of events at attempting to clear his name, he was labelled “totally out of order “by Speaker Michael Perkins who ordered a five-day suspension effective today.
“As I approached the Parliament earlier this morning, I was approached by a reporter who asked me –what I thought then was an irrelevant question- and that is whether I had resigned from the National Assembly of St.Kitts and Nevis. Of course I tried to understand what was the basis of his question and only to be told that it would appear that the he has been informed that I was no longer a member of this Parliament,” Douglas said in this opening remarks.
He then went on to say that he responded to the reporter by saying: “Under no circumstance whatsoever have I resigned my elected position as a member of the National Assembly of St. Kitts.”
Douglas continued: “In fact I reminded the reporter that I was first elected to this House of Parliament to serve the interest of the people of St.Kitts and Nevis since all the way back in 1989. I had to explain further that since that first election to the Parliament of our country, I had been reelected in 1993, again in 1995 yet again in 2000, yet again in 2004, yet again Mr. Speaker in 2010 and yet again on February 2015…and since then I have been not only sitting in this Parliament doing the work that the people of Constituency Six sent me here to do but I have also been pursuing the work of the St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, and the work and services been given to the citizens of the country at home and abroad as the prime minister from 1995 until the year 2015.”
The Opposition Leader explained why he would not resign saying: I explained to the reporter further that even though I am aware that persons are very much uncomfortable with me in this Parliament, I have not resigned and I shall never resign because there is quite a bit of work still to be done in advancing our country to the state where it was and which sadly…from to satisfy personal whims and fancies of some persons here.”
“The country is undergoing tremendous difficulties. People are scarcely able to make ends meet for their daily needs,” he added
Speaker Perkins interjected in putting it to Douglas that when it comes to the item of Personal Explanations, the proper thing to do is to seek leave of the Speaker but that he would overlook that such was not done.
“Now that you’ve been allowed to make your personal stat, please be reminded that it should not be controversial; it should be speaking to matters that affect you personally outside of what transpires in Parliament. I’m following closely so please avoid getting into the politics…,” he said also.
Additionally he warned Douglas to “avoid the path he seem to be going down.”
He also added: “I agree that it is something you have the right to come here to clear and I believe you have done that by now.”
The Opposition Leader in continuing his presentation expressed that strategy is being used to abuse the National Assembly.
Speaker Perkins soon after interrupted by highlighting standing order 49: 2 which addresses “any member who is grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately from the National Assembly during the remainder of that day’s siting and may direct such steps to be taken as directed as a required to enforce this standing order.”
In talking to Douglas he claimed: “I repeatedly asked you to terminate your personal explanation and then I repeated please do not utter any other word once I’d given that direction which I did twice and you continued to speak beyond that direction and so I’m ordering you to withdraw from this National Assembly for the rest of the day.”
The Opposition Leader in response told the Speaker that his ruling is “unfair and unjust. I am aware that I am not wanted to be in this Parliament.”
In telling Douglas that he is “totally out of order”, the Speaker received the reply “I am not out of order.”
After leaving the Assembly, Speaker Perkins said Douglas “is hereby named and is suspended from the service of this National Assembly and that suspension is for the next five days subject to correction. That suspension takes effect today and shall continue for five days.”