BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, November 29, 2019 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — Team Unity’s manifesto issued ahead of the February 16, 2015 elections, clearly indicated that it would introduce, among others, legislation to limit the term of any one individual serving as Prime Minister to two terms.
Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris made the remarks in the National Assembly on Thursday November 28 when he tabled the ‘Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis (Tenure of Office of Prime Minister) (Amendment) Bill 2019’ for its second reading.
“This legislation, importantly, is about Team Unity keeping our word to the electorate and returning the trust that they have put in us,” said Prime Minister Harris. “Team Unity believes that when you make a promise you keep it. Not just on this, but on as many things as possible.”
According to Prime Minister Harris, Team Unity is making history in being the first government to propose real and substantive change to the Constitution of 1983. He said the Bill is a historic one because the smallest nation state in the Americas is leading on fundamental matters of governance – the tenure of office of the Head of Government.
“That transformational agenda of good governance and prosperity for all received the full endorsement of an electorate that was convinced that the former administration had outlived its useful life and was out of touch with the soul of the nation, the ethos of what ought to be an evolving participatory democracy,” said the Honourable Prime Minister.
Dr Harris added: “The people of St. Kitts and Nevis have already voted on this. This was fundamental to the good governance agenda which we articulated way back in 2015 and before 2015 in the alleyways. We proposed it – the people have already voted on it. It is now time for the members of parliament to support the people by giving consent to this Bill which is deserving of their fullest support and commendation.”
Waving a copy of Team Unity’s manifesto, which was handed to him by Minister of State for Health Senator the Hon Wendy Phipps, Prime Minister Harris proudly read off all what they promised the electorate including payback of sugar workers their $16 million denied them; and pay off the IMF $117 million debt left by the former administration, all which Team Unity has already fulfilled.
“We said that we will come up with the Poverty Alleviation support to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis who were traumatised by heavy taxes and an onerous VAT at 17 per cent by the former administration – tick that one – we have kept faith on that,” said the Prime Minister. “They said it couldn’t be done and now it is being done.”
Other promises included the payment of $500 monthly support for households earning under $3,000; and the guarantee that People Employment Programme (PEP) would continue, and he told Parliament that the programme has not only continued, but has been revamped and renamed the Skills Training Employment Programme (STEP).
“The Bill, Mr Speaker, is a very short one by the standard size of legislation, but it is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to be brought to the Parliament since independence,” Prime Minister Harris had said at the beginning of his presentation. The Bill was supported by Attorney General, the Hon Vincent Byron.