Government resolves hindrances posed by key diplomats

During his April (Tuesday 28) monthly press conference, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris indicated that the matters have been resolved, but he claimed that the diplomat that was posted in Dubai, Alex Woodley, at first was not cooperative and appeared unwilling to relinquish her position.

“The mother of the (former) prime minister’s children, she was the most difficult one in Dubai, hopefully by now she has gone, because we had taken steps in light of the resistance she posed to the order and the clear direction from the permanent secretary that her diplomatic assignment had been determined, and that she ought not to continue to function, as if she was the representative of the government in Dubai. She had continued according to the reports. I think that that situation has been satisfactorily resolved,” Harris explained.

A reliable source told that shortly after the elections when Senior Minister Vance Amory visited the Consulate in Dubai, he was refused entry for some time. It was also revealed that one employee had locked herself in a bathroom. Woodley is said to have adopted an unwavering position of no resignation.

According to the source, Woodley appeared to have been caught off-guard, not being aware that the visit was planned.

This is not an isolated pattern that emerged during the transition of the new government. The prime minister also complained that many on several boards of statutory corporations and institutions also refused to resign and had to be ‘pushed’ into action. These persons eventually complied.

The government has classed diplomats and members of boards, as “political directorates”, and as such, they were expected to send in their resignations.

Harris explained, “The political directorates of the last administration must necessarily resign. We made that publicly clear, and we stand by it,” Harris said. “They must free the hand of the government to determine if it wished for them to continue, and they must free the hand of the government to determine how and by whom its policies and programs will be implemented.”

However, he pointed out that “a number of them had the decency to respond positively”.

“I got a letter from Ambassador Wendell Lawrence and a certain section of it says, ’I believe the government deserves the opportunity to make a determination about whether or not it wishes to have my service or some other person to continue,” Harris quoted Lawrence as saying.

During his press conference, Prime Minister Harris also spoke about the St. Kitts and Nevis ambassador who served in the United States, saying, “The other area, in Washington, Jacinth Henry-Martin, she has moved on. We thank her for her service and wish her well in her future endeavours.” He however did not list her as one of those who refused to step aside.

Henry-Martin herself has since confirmed that she was one of the first to tender her resignation. She said, “It is a fact that my response to the newly and duly elected government’s call for resignations was among the first to be submitted, indeed coming before the end of February, 2015.”

The former St. Kitts and Nevis diplomat indicated that “A copy of my letter of resignation, dated February 24, 2015 is easily obtained from the relevant Ministry of the Federal government, and a cursory check will confirm that there was never an issue, never a refusal, never any hindrance or impasse on my part.”

The prime minister has not announced the names of new diplomats to be appointed, but he announced that a number of boards for various statutory corporations have already been confirmed, including ZIZ, National Bank, National Trust, Social Security and others.


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