By: Spokesman Newsroom
BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 31st August 2018) – Eight (8) days after the opposition St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) held a conference to address crime in calling for a nationalistic approach in tackling the issue, a direct response from Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris on the issue has prompted the SKNLP to demand that he takes back the “childish and malicious” remarks made.
While speaking at a housing solution ceremony held at Pine Garden in Shadwell on Tuesday 28th August, PM Harris accused the SKNLP of inciting violence in the country saying in part: “It is the sure sign of hypocrisy of a desperate and disloyal Denzil Douglas that he wants to keep a conference he says on crime. Conference on crime? Conference on crime?”
“…I am of the view that opposition elements are inciting crime in the country because Denzil Douglas believes that if he create chaos and confusion in the land he may have a chance to regain power. I call on Denzil Douglas to act responsibly. Your time has gone and never again will Denzil Douglas lead this country,” he further claimed.
Opposition Leader Dr. Denzil Douglas, in statement made the following day, demanded that PM Harris “publicly retracts his spurious and childish allegation, and begin for once to focus his energies on leading the nation through this monumental social crisis that we have on our hands.”
Dr. Douglas stated that: “The members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition wish to document our very strong objection, condemnation and rejection of any and all notions that any of its members are inciting or attempting to incite violence in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. The Opposition is comprised of members from two political parties, both of which have a long history of nation-building, and this is a fact that can neither be ignored nor disproved.”
The opposition leader pointed out that “less than twenty-four hours prior the Prime Minister’s inflammatory statement, the son of a government Minister was gunned down in cold blood.”
According to him: “In spite of this utterly calamitous situation, Prime Minister Harris felt compelled to spew highly disparaging and divisive sentiments in the public sphere on the issue of crime although he knows full well that the Opposition has been calling for a unified approach to combating this raging social cancer for almost four years.”
Dr. Douglas continued: “It is both unfortunate and ironic that Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, the head of the tripartite coalition administration and the Minister of National Security, continues to purposely ignore the Opposition’s call for a united approach to crime-fighting in the Federation. We continue to insist that crime is a social problem that transcends the political divide. It is a problem that can only be remedied if all stakeholders – Government, Opposition, the Church and Civil Society – work together in this regard.”
The Opposition leader expressed that it “is clear that even whilst in government, Dr. Harris intends to politicise crime with the hope of making some myopic political gain.”
“His insistence on casting ludicrous aspersions and making blatantly inflammatory statements serves as a clear indication to the general public that Dr. Timothy Harris, as the Minister of National Security, has no clue as to how to tackle the issue of crime; neither does he have any intention whatsoever of seriously exhausting the relevant options in an effort to reduce the country’s rapidly increasing crime rate.”