To demonstrate its objection to the Nevis Reformation Party, NRP, Administration, led by Premier Joseph Parry, the CCM opposition legislators who were elected on 11th July, 2011, namely Vance Amory and Alexis Jeffers, once again on Monday 31st October, 2011, failed to show up at the sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly, making it the third such instance for the leader of the opposing party.
Monday’s meeting of the assembly passed three pieces of legislation: The Nevis Physical Planning and Development Control (Amendment) Ordinance, The Amenities for Tourists (Amendment) Ordinance, and Statutory Rules and Orders #7 of 2011.
According to a release from the Premier’s Office, the only members of the legislature to debate and make contribution to the legislation were the five legislators representing the Government: Premier and elected member for Nevis 5 (St. Thomas’), Joseph W. Parry, Deputy Premier, Leader of Government Business and elected member for Nevis 2 (St. John’s), Hensley Daniel, elected member for Nevis 1 (St. Paul’s), Robelto Hector, and Junior Ministers, Carlisle Powell and Dwight Cozier.
The release said all five members of the legislature expressed outrage at the continued absence, no-show, non-participation and failure by the leader of the opposing party who has refused to show up and be sworn in. Since July’s election result, not one member of the opposition has contributed to any of the legislation passed in the Assembly, stated the NRP release.
During his contribution to the debate, Junior Minister, Carlisle Powell took issue with a written apology of absence sent by the elected member who is yet to be sworn in. “I am not a lawyer by any stretch of the imagination but it is just my thinking that if you have not been sworn in, you cannot be excused from a position that you don’t have.”
The NRP, according to the release, is of the view that questions will surface at the next meeting of the legislature, about payment of salaries to the two members of the opposition who have refused to show up to work in the Assembly, since the July election.
NRP said it is also expected that the President of the legislature will be asked to make a ruling on the position of the leader of the opposing party who has now missed three consecutive opportunities to be sworn in.