During the recent budget debate in the parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas launched an aggressive attack on former Senior Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, accusing him of a number of matters that were designed to paint a rather disparaging picture of Harris’ actions while in government.
The Prime Minister was so passionate in his comments that he repeatedly said at the end of his accusations, “tell him (Harris) I say so”. Harris has now responded by saying that “I am advised that the illegitimate Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas, used the occasion of the wrap up of his so called Budget Debate to embark on a vicious and unstatesmanlike attack on me and my performance as a Minister of Government. I have referred the tape of his remarks to my lawyers for advice.”
This is the second time in recent months that Harris has sought legal advice on comments made against him by Douglas.
Responding to Douglas on Thursday, Harris said, “The truth is Douglas’ attacks in Parliament, full of lies and mischief, must be seen as the actions of a desperate, dictatorial leader who has come to the end of his rope.”
The former minister who now leads the newly formed People’s Labour Party, PLP, and who has been identified as the choice of the opposition parties to serve as the next Prime Minister, if successful at the polls next election, said Dr. Douglas “…has destroyed his own credibility on the issues and is now vigorously and indiscriminately attempting to destroy others. However, the people of this country will not be fooled by Douglas’ persistent efforts to sidetrack them and change the subject from the many important issues affecting their well-being, including the unconventional and illegal sale of our diplomatic passports.”
Harris is adamant that if he, or any other former minister was involved in any wrong-doing, then Dr. Douglas himself must be held accountable to the people, because he is the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
“Dr. Douglas must know that he was the head of government at all times and he cannot conveniently come to the public now, after eighteen years, to accuse former ministers of wrong doings. Such accusation of wrongdoing, if true, would have occurred under his watch and he would have irresponsibly condoned and/or covered up impropriety. Such behavior would be unacceptable for a national leader.”
Harris however appears to be dismissive of his former boss, saying that Kittitians and Nevisians can never believe anything that is being said by the Prime Minister, “… Douglas has long bid goodbye to truth. Hence, a Judge of the High Court described him as a stranger to the truth. Another learned Judge told us that when faced with three (3) constitutionally legitimate ways of making an appointment, our illegitimate Prime Minister chose the wrong way. We cannot rely on our illegitimate Prime Minister anymore to tell the truth nor to do the right thing.”
Only time will tell how all this will play out, either in the court or public domain, but one thing is certain, the war of words will get even worse, as the country heads into the New year and a possible early election.