BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, November 29, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – On the second day of the debate on the historic Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis (Tenure of Office of Prime Minister) (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the National Assembly on November 29, Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Mark Brantley said the country will know conclusively where the Opposition stands on the matter of good governance.
Members of the Opposition have argued that the move to limit the tenure of the holder of the Office of Prime Minister should have been taken to the people by way of a referendum.
Premier Brantley countered by saying many significant policy decisions have been made without the need to go back to the people as “the wise men and women who framed the Constitution understood that some matters warranted a referendum and others did not.”
“What we have here are people who continue to pay lip service to good governance but when the opportunity comes to stand up and be counted, they shy away,” the premier added.
The Team Unity-led administration identified amendments to the term limits for the holder of the Office of Prime Minister as a fundamental aspect of the good governance agenda which it continues to promote.
“We, who happen at this point in our history to be members of this Honourable House, have been presented with an opportunity here to do the right thing. It doesn’t matter which side has sought to bring this legislation, the question we must each ask ourselves is that is it the right thing to do? And if the answer to that question is yes, then it matters little who brought the legislation to the Parliament because all of us should be invested in creating a better democracy for St. Kitts and Nevis,” Premier Brantley said during his contribution to the debate on Thursday (November 28).
The honourable premier said what the Government is attempting to do by limiting the tenure of the Office of the Prime Minister is not a new idea. He added, “What we are seeking to do here has been done elsewhere and has been perceived in those countries where it has happened as an important check, an important balance, an important provision as part and parcel of the good governance agenda.”
The Honourable Mark Brantley commended Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris for taking the bold step of personally tabling a bill in the National Assembly that seeks to limit the tenure of Office of Prime Minister – the office which Dr. Harris currently holds.