While everyone in St. Kitts and Nevis had been preparing to witness the unfolding battles of the Nevis Island elections next week, the political dynamics have again shifted to the scenes at the national level, with a pending decision to take disciplinary action against the Chairman of the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party, Dr. Timothy Harris.
Deputy Chairman of the party, Nigel Carty revealed on local radio on Friday that the National Executive is due to meet sometime in the coming week to begin the process of sanctioning their party chairman who is also the Senior Minister in the Labour Government.
Harris too was on local radio Friday, providing details about what transpired at a meeting of the National Executive, held at the party’s headquarters, Masses House, on Thursday night, 17th January, 2013.
According to Dr. Harris, while speaking on Freedom Radio, there was hostility towards him from the moment he stepped into the room to chair the proceedings. His comrades even refused to engage in the usual ritual of devotional prayers. He said that what disturbed him at the meeting was that when he invited fellow comrades to say prayers they indicated that they were not interested in prayer. Harris admitted that this was a significant revelation for him, “because what could be in people’s hearts.” He wondered but also concluded that because he spoke out on behalf of the poor, the needy the pressurized, they, (his comrades), are refusing to invoke God’s blessings on the meeting. It was obvious that their hearts were full of malice and hate, stated Dr. Harris who is the Representative for Constituency Number Seven in St. Kitts.
But I am aware that God is not asleep and he will protect me and guide me, said Harris.
But Harris explained that originally the meeting’s agenda was going to discuss some very normal matters for the party. But when he got there to perform his role, he found a rather unduly, aggressive and uncooperative (set of) comrades. He said whatever was on their minds he was unsure, but he gleaned from the discussion that was ongoing, when he arrived, that they were discussing his presentation in parliament earlier in the week, and in the end what came out was that they were unhappy with the statement he made to the parliament, addressing what he said was the people’s concerns and issues. It was a discussion on a Bill to increase the number of senators in the National Assembly.
Harris explained that the Deputy Chairman, Nigel Carty was attempting to move a motion to have disciplinary action considered by the party against him, (Harris) for speaking to the people’s concerns, in the parliament.
Carty said, during his radio interview, that he did move a motion for the amendment of the meeting’s agenda to include consideration for disciplinary action against Dr. Harris. Carty said Harris refused to allow the amendment.
But the Deputy Chairman said his senior comrade (Harris) was told in no uncertain terms that he had no authority to deny an amendment of the meeting’s agenda. Carty said Harris told the meeting that he was the one in the chair and he could make such a decision to refuse the amendment.
Carty indicated that the party leader and Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas and himself, and other members at the meeting, told Harris that he was in no position to determine that nobody can make or suggest any amendment to the agenda of the meeting.
“We felt that Dr. Harris was out of place, he ought to have accepted the amendment to the agenda as was being suggested by someone at the meeting and allow the meeting to proceed. We sat debating back and forth arguing and shouting with one another, in relation to this matter. Members thought that he was being deliberate in trying to prevent the party from moving forward because persons felt that he was already on his own, speaking as an independent person, doing whatever he wanted to do and he was there to stifle the party from moving forward.”
But Carty said Harris eventually acceded to the request. It was then decided that the matter of disciplining Dr. Harris should be dealt with at a subsequent meeting, once Dr. Harris would have been informed ahead of time. The meeting was adjourned after agreeing that another session would be called within a week’s time. Harris is to be formally written to, and it is expected that he would make a response to the letter.
Carty indicated that at the earliest possible date, which is sometime during the course of next week, the Executive Meeting will sit an make a determination, “in relation to how we move forward with Dr. Harris as the chairman of the party.”
The National Executive is comprised of representatives from the 8 constituencies in St. Kitts.
Dr. Harris warned that “This agenda that people are talking about destroying people, it will not solve the problems of the country. The country needs healing and reconciliation and if we can do that; bring people together, across all the divides of the denominations of parties and sit down together and put our country first and foremost, I think that would be a whole lot of good for St. Kitts and Nevis.”