BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 15th May 2020) – An address to the nation by the Prime Minister on the dissolution of parliament asking voters for another term in office on Wednesday 13th May coupled with the Opposition right after signaling readiness for voting day has created a countdown to the next general elections in St.Kitts- Nevis, although the exact date has yet to be announced.
“We are a country governed by laws and our Constitution is our supreme law. Our Constitution is very clear. Every Parliament shall continue for five years from the date of the first sitting of the National Assembly after an election and shall then end, unless sooner dissolved. It is now almost some five years since that first sitting and I have yesterday advised His Excellency the Governor General, Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, to dissolve the National Assembly as from Tuesday, 12th May 2020 and he has graciously consented,” Dr. Harris stated in his 7PM air time address one day before the 14th May date.
He added: “The next election will bring certainty to our Federation, preserve our democracy and allow us continue to deliver a brighter future, creating employment and prosperity, building bigger homes and keeping us safe. Let us stay together and see this through. In this election, you will have a clear choice. You can go forward to a safer and brighter future with Team Unity, or backwards to the past, which you rejected in 2015. I know that our Federation will be safer and stronger with Team Unity.”
“I invite each and every one of you to consider these Elections seriously, soberly, and with maturity,” PM Harris also remarked.
Later that night, Leader of the Opposition St.Kitts- Nevis Labour Party and former Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas described PM Harris’ announcement as long overdue while he pointed to another constitutional timeframe in August 2020 in the lead up to the next general elections.
“This announcement has been long overdue. The five-year deadline since the last general elections has passed since February 15, 2020. Despite the many attempts by this regime to find loopholes to go around the Constitution, the loops cannot and will not hold. Today, the constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis has spoken and has spoken loudly with authority and with finality. The Constitution will speak again by August 11th this year as the final curtain comes down on this deceptive and miscreant regime.”
According to him: “For a government that has spoken so boastfully about its prospects for winning, the fact that it has allowed itself to lose the element of surprise and to let the clock run out on its term in office, it speaks volumes. The writing is in fact on the wall and Harris and his government are mortally afraid of going back to the people because they know, just as we know, that they will lose.”
He continued: “The last five years have not been easy for our people. Rampant corruption, nepotism and victimization have left many languishing on the margins of the national prosperity agenda. The Harris-led administration has had one focus and one focus only, which is to abuse the power afforded to them by the state to enrich themselves and their families. Strip away all systems of transparency and accountability and to secure for themselves an unfair political advantage by suppressing opposition voices.”
The Opposition Leader spoke confidently about the SKNLP forming the next government to bring hope, opportunity and relief to the Federation.
“We in the NextGen Labour Party, we are confident; confident that what is best for St. Kitts and Nevis, lies on the other side of this crisis and we are determined to find and hold on to the COVID silver lining. Similarly, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis can rest assured that hope, opportunity and relief are on the way with the NextGen Labour Party.”
Notably, on the morning of Thursday 14th May, a mini SKNLP motorcade flowed through the streets of Basseterre- including along Church Street where Government Headquarters is housed- as drivers in vehicles decorated with party flags honked about.