Harris & Condor to be Ejected from Labour End of June

The two have made known their resolve to campaign against and get rid of the Denzil Douglas Labour Administration. Harris, who was fired from the Cabinet late last year and Condor who resigned earlier in 2013, have been at odds with Douglas for over 4 months, as their once close relationship deteriorated into a public confrontation that has so escalated that their former boss has referred to them in rather disparaging language, as “hogs”. He has also termed them traitors who have betrayed their party.

On the other hand, they have described the Prime Minister as a dictator who is a liar and corrupt, and one who is taking the country in the wrong direction. For them, it is Douglas who has betrayed and destroyed the “real’ Labour party and has moved away from its core principles that include looking after the poor and working class.

Dr.-Denzil-and-Dr-timDuring an executive meeting of the Labour Party last year, attempts were made to discuss possible disciplinary actions that should be taken against Dr. Harris, who at the time was chairing the meeting, in the presence of Douglas, at their headquarters at Masses House, on Church Street, in Basseterre. Harris eventually left the meeting, leaving Nigel Carty in the chair.

According to Deputy Chairman, Nigel Carty, the effort was being pursued because of comments made in parliament by Harris, when he spoke out against legislation to authorize the swap of 1,200 acres of government lands, to settle debt owed to the National Bank of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla. Some party officials were also upset with Harris because he equally was against, and expressed his objections against the passage of the Increase in Senators Bill that was being brought to parliament to move the number of unelected senators, from three, to six.

It was the same argument being made by Condor, who also felt that the government was not taking action that was in the best interest of the people. Condor resigned from the Cabinet, but remained Deputy Leader of the party, up to Sunday 19th May, 2013, when he was replaced by Dr. Earl Asim Martin. Martin also replaced him as Deputy Prime Minister.

Many supporters of Dr. Douglas agitated for the dismissal of Harris and Condor from their party positions, and Deputy Chairman Nigel Carty had also promised that they were to convene a special meeting to “deal with the matter”, in a matter of weeks. That was since last year, but this never happened and even now that the 2013 convention is over, both Harris and Condor remain Labour Party members.

It is not that they do not want to purge them from the party, said one official; it is that the present constitution makes the process, somewhat complicated; therefore more time is needed to terminate their membership.

The new target is 30th June, 2013. This is when the party hopes to remove the two former top officials. This will come once certain amendments are made to the constitution of the party.

A special conference is therefore being contemplated to facilitate the expulsion.

Douglas has also accused the two former colleagues of allowing themselves to be heavily influenced by yet another former Labor Party Administration Cabinet member, Dwyer Astaphan, who now heads an activist group called Operation Rescue. Astaphan himself fell out with Douglas just before the 2010 election and resigned from the Cabinet, but not parliament. He therefore used his backbencher status to carefully throw punches against the government and skillfully criticized certain legislative and policy matters. Eventually Douglas could take no more and Astaphan was expelled from the party. He was accused of colluding with a former PAM minister of government, Richard Caines to bring down the government.

Sam-Condor-Buckleys-Rebellioen-speech.jpg2Now, it is Harris and Condor who are being accused of colluding, not only with Astaphan, but the opposition PAM, to bring down the government.

What is clear therefore is that the final chapter is yet to be written on this debacle and political watchers will be keeping their eyes focused on the end of June, not only for the Music Festival, but the special Labour Conference.




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