He was at the time endorsing a similar statement made by PAM Senator Vincent Byron Jr. during his presentation at a press conference held yesterday (7th August) at the recently-established Team Unity Command Centre on Fort Street, Basseterre.
In response to a question asked of him on the proroguing of Parliament, Senator Byron said that the dissolution of Parliament had nothing to do with prorogue and that the Federation is being run without any Parliamentary oversight.
“The Parliament is not prorogued and this government, this administration, it is clear, has not called any sitting of Parliament since December or January of this year. The country is being run without any Parliamentary oversight of most things that are happening here…with anything that is happening here.
“We know large sums of money have been spent (and) we know that a number of issues of grave significance are happening in the country. We have recently been told that nigh 18,000 passports have been issued over the last 30 months, all without any place of origin of birth. There has been no statement coming from this Executive of this administration. We in Parliament are not allowed to question and harbour report to the people in the Parliament on any of these matters.”
Brantley, when asked by a member of the media what could be done to alleviate the Parliamentary stalemate, said that the solution lies in the hands of the voting population.
“…I feel that the only resolution to that is to go back to the people. And to say to all those who wish to be in Parliament, that they must seek a mandate from the people. It is obviously the people who ultimately determine who sits in parliament. It is in the hands of the people the power to elect. So I think that has to be the solution.”
He intimated that it is not only the Federal Parliament that has collapsed, but also other government institutions.
“I think that it is obvious to all concerned, both those citizens who are here and certainly those who look on in amazement from outside, that our institutions of government have collapsed. The Parliament has collapsed and the Speaker of our Parliament has demonstrated through his actions that he is not fit to hold that office.”
Brantley claimed that the ruling St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, with the minority of elected members, continues to masquerade as a government and that has been the cause of the systematic destruction of the governmental institutions.
“I have, for my part, commented that Dr. Douglas must feel rather strange when he goes to various international forums and realising he is the only person in the room who does not command the majority of his parliament. And so we have seen a systematic corrosion, if you will, of the institutions of our government, the pillars of our Constitution, and the Parliament has been rendered impotent…has been rendered useless.”
In response to the reason for the Opposition’s boycott of Parliament, Brantley explained that they have absented themselves because of the non-tabling of the almost 20-month Motion of No Confidence.
“In relation to our boycott, we took a position on principle that we would not lend by our presence any credibility or legitimacy to what was obviously an illegitimate government engaging in an illegitimate process. And the mere fact that nothing can occur in Parliament, save with the help of appointed individuals, where a majority of elected individuals sit on the other side. We not only sit there, we have communicated firmly to His Excellency the Governor General that, one, we do not support Prime Minister Douglas, a former Prime Minister, and, two, we support someone else. And so there is sitting here is the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris who we have gone on record in a formal way to the Governor General to say that is whom the majority of elected members support.”
Taking a swipe at Dr. Douglas, Brantley reiterated that his administration is illegitimate and is masquerading as the government, as its Leader recently did in Nevis during that island’s Culturama J’Ouvert.
“If you are talking about legitimacy, we are talking about ultimately the people voting for elected representatives, putting them in Parliament and therefore those elected representatives will then determine who amongst them they will lend their support to. It is obvious that Dr. Douglas has lost such support, and he has lost it now for quite some time. I saw him in Nevis during J’Ouvert…it was a time for masquerades and clowns and different people came out in costumes, and he clearly was there masquerading as a prime minister. And so, perhaps, it is the appropriate time for him to show up in the streets of Charlestown. But that is the reality that we face.”