Opposition leader writes to PM Gonsalves calling for action by CARICOM Heads in St Kitts and Nevis
August 6, 2013

Opposition leader writes to PM Gonsalves calling for action by CARICOM Heads in St Kitts and Nevis

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace has written to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to rally support from the other CARICOM Heads of Government to seek a resolution to the political impasse in St Kitts and Nevis.{{more}}

Speaking on the New Times Radio Programme yesterday, Eustace said that he had written a letter to the Prime Minister and that he had sent copies to the other Government heads and Opposition leaders across the region.

According to Eustace, the issue in St Kitts and Nevis was a serious one which warranted some attention from the rest of the region.

Speaking at a solidarity rally in Georgetown on July 20, in support of Senator Vynnette Frederick who was re-arrested on July 11, Eustace expressed his concern about what was taking place on that Caribbean territory, where six Opposition members had filed a motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas in December, 2012.

“A no-confidence motion has been put before the Parliament for the past seven months and the Parliament has not met to consider that no-confidence motion and those who signed the letter supporting the motion are more than the members of the Government, so the min-ute they get that motion, is gone they gone,” Eustace said.

He also accused the other Heads of Governments from across the region of “sitting down and not saying anything about what was taking place in St Kitts.”

Eustace included in the letter that he was bothered greatly by what was taking place on that Caribbean island.

“…these words describe the way I feel as I examine the unfolding political travesty in St Kitts and Nevis made worse still by the deepening silence of the Caribbean leaders in reply,” Eustace included.

“I refer to the refusal by the Speaker of the House of Assembly of the Government of St Kitts to table for debate a motion of no confidence brought by Her Majesty’s Royal Opposition in Parliament.

“…consequently, there exists a greater than remote prospect of the motion passing, I am informed that against the backdrop, the prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Denzil Douglas has taken action to present a boundaries commission report.

“This state of affairs is patently unacceptable and the governments of our region are unable to intervene collectively in the issue, fearful that intervention would be construed as interference into the internal affairs of another state-this I reject. We are a region, the CARICOM region.

“The only ambiguous trajectory of our movement is not simply a single economic space, but a single political space too. We are viewed by our people and internationally as a region, a democratic region with a strong Parliamentary tradition for the purpose of foreign trade and arrangements, we are seen as one.

“What happened to our credibility as a region?”

Eustace continued in the letter that there existed now an OECS Parliament-“a goal we have so often lauded, are we now willing to sacrifice on the altar of political expediency so much of what we believe?”

According to the letter, Eustace reminded Gonsalves of the Grand Beach Accord, which was the result of the intervention of CARICOM leaders here to resolve a Vincentian political impasse.

“That intervention cut in half the life of the Mitchell administration and you, prime minister, then leader of the opposition, were a beneficiary,” the letter noted.

Eustace then called on Gonsalves and the other CARICOM leaders to intervene, so as to broker a resolution to the Kittitian Parliamentary deadlock.

Gonsalves, at a press briefing last week, said that he had received a letter from Opposition Parliamentarians from St Kitts.

But while he said that he did not want to interfere with the matter in St Kitts, Gonsalves said that the communication he received was too long and not focused.

He explained that the problem in St Kitts was that the opposition had gone to the court in order to compel the Speaker of the House to call the Parliament to have the motion heard.

“But the minute you do that, you take the matter out of politics and put it in the hands of the law,” the Prime Minister said. .