Richards’ statement was made after 6 parliamentarians, including 2 from the government side, expressed in strong resolute and clear language that they could not support The Senators (Increase of Number) Bill, 2012 tabled by the government through Attorney General Patrice Nisbett.
The parliament is comprised of eleven elected Representatives, three Senators and a Speaker. After three years of passing laws there is still no Deputy Speaker as is required by the constitution. Deputy Prime Minister Sam Condor in his presentation indicated that it is common practice that the government ensures that a Deputy Speaker is in place. And that Deputy Speaker is almost always from the government side.
Of the fourteen members who sit, six members have so far declared their opposition to the Senator’s Bill and a seventh member, Leader of the Opposition Mark Brantley who has not yet spoken is on record that he opposes the Bill.
Two members of the Executive Branch of Government, Sam Condor, Deputy Prime Minister and Timothy Harris, Senior Minister who have been serving the country as Ministers of Government for over seventeen years stood in Parliament and made their cases very clear, that they are opposed and will vote against the Bill.
“The declaration by these two Ministers of Government Deputy Prime Minister Sam Condor and Senior Minister Dr. Hon Timothy Harris in perhaps their most passionate and articulate presentations will cause the Bill to be defeated if ever a VOTE is taken when and if Parliament reconvenes before an election is called by the Prime Minister,” said Richards
“An examination of the number of Members on both sides of the House so far shows that seven Members oppose the Bill. A vote of seven members against the Bill is a “VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE” in Prime Minister Douglas in my view. It is clear that like the rest of the country the parliament has NO CONFIDENCE in Prime Minister Douglas,” Richards continued
“We must RESTORE CONFIDENCE in the country and it’s governance and Tuesday is the first step towards restoring that confidence.
Richards is of the view that confidence will only be restored through functional cooperation between men and women of this country, (St. Kitts and Nevis), and of all political persuasions, because we are one people. Our country needs UNITY and the party which I lead will play its part in ensuring that Confidence is Restored in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Richards concluded.