St Kitts PM fires senior minister

St Kitts PM Denzil Douglas tonight announced that Senior Minister Timothy Harris had been dismissed for undermining the ability of the government to discharge its functions.

In an address to the nation, the PM also accused Harris of wanting to become Prime Minister. Harris in recent weeks had signalled his intention to oppose several government initiatives and as a result this raised concerns over the principle of collective Cabinet responsibility. Harris had also declined to say whether he would vote with the government on a no-confidence motion that is to come up soon.

Timothy Harris
Timothy Harris

Basseterre had been gripped by speculation over the showdown between Douglas and Harris.

In his address, Douglas said “It seems quite clear that Senior Minister Harris does not regard himself as being bound by the collective responsibility of the Cabinet and this could become disruptive to the smooth flow of government business. Specifically Senior Minister Harris has refused to support the Government sponsored “St. Kitts – Nevis – Anguilla National Bank Limited (Vesting of Certain Land) Act”; He has indicated to the Cabinet and to the entire country that he will not support the Government-sponsored Senators (Increased of Number) Bill 2012; He has consistently refused to confirm to the Cabinet that he will support the Budget when it comes before Parliament for approval; and he has refused to confirm to Cabinet that he will vote against a Motion of No Confidence in the Government of which he is a Senior Minister. Even more critically he has clearly expressed his unwillingness to work with the leadership of the Government and of the Labour Party to advocate and implement critical policies of the Government.”

The PM said he then formed the opinion that Harris would not participate meaningfully in government until he is appointed PM. Douglas said “It is not within my power to grant Party leadership to anyone. It is the members of the Party that must do so. Similarly, it is not in my power to leave position of Prime Minister in my Will or to give to whomsoever I wish. The Prime Ministership is not of a Dynasty or Monarchy.  The choice of Prime Minister rests in the hand of the people of this country.”

Noting that it was the right of Harris to express his views contrary to the government of which he is part, Douglas said that when the differences are so fundamental that they could hinder the government’s ability to perform, action has to be taken.

“It is in this context that I have, today, asked His Excellency the Governor General to revoke the appointment of the Honourable Timothy Harris as a Minister of Government and he has acted accordingly, in keeping with the provisions of the Constitution”, Douglas said.

He then announced appointments to cover Harris’ portfolio.

Harris joined the government as Foreign Minister in 2001.

 

 

Latest in Regional News

default placeholder

Man arrested in Brazil for attempt to douse Olympic torch

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A man has been arrested for trying to extinguish the Olympic torch by throwing a bucket of water over it as it passed through his farming town of Maracaju in central Brazil, an officer at the local police station said yesterday.

default placeholder

‘Three Amigos’ to set clean energy goal of 50% by 2025 – White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will this week agree that their three countries will aim to produce 50 per cent of their power from clean energy sources by 2025, the White House said yesterday.

default placeholder

Seventeen Colombia soldiers killed in helicopter crash

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Seventeen  Colombian soldiers died when their Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter crashed in a central mountainous area of the Andean country, the army said on yesterday.

default placeholder

Magnitude 5.7 quake shakes southern Mexico, no damage reported

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca yesterday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, shaking buildings as far away as Mexico City, but officials reported there was no immediate damage.

default placeholder

Cuban hotel becomes first to operate under US brand

HAVANA (Reuters) – A large “Four Points by Sheraton” sign has gone up outside the Havana hotel that this week becomes the first in Cuba to operate under a US brand since the 1959 revolution.

default placeholder

Panama opens canal extension amid growth risks, cost battle

PANAMA CITY, (Reuters) – Panama opened the long-delayed $5.4 billion expansion of its shipping canal amid cheering crowds yesterday, despite looming economic uncertainty in the shipping industry and a heated battle over billions in cost overruns.

default placeholder

Brazil firm fired from T&T highway project

(Trinidad Express) Brazilian firm Construtora OAS has been fired from the $7 billion Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin. But even in the face of harsh criticism from Government, the embattled company is fighting back to defend its work on the stalled project and denying it abandoned the massive highway extension.

default placeholder

One dead, three hurt in T&T drive-by shooting

(Trinidad Express) Four people liming roadside near a birthday celebration were shot in a drive by attack in Carapichaima on Saturday.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: