Ms. Liburd was responding to a question from MiyVue.com when she and other Cabinet members were asked pointedly, to declare how they would vote, when the Motion of No Confidence, which last year was filed by the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Brantley, is brought to the parliament.
Liburd was very emphatic when she declared, “I could only speak for myself. Whenever the vote of no confidence comes, I will be voting unequivocally against it. And I want to support my colleague the Honourable Glenn Ghost Phillip, in his presentation in parliament (with) what he said about people being inside a government and wanting to vote against the same government…can’t do that. So I will be voting unequivocally…let me speak for myself.”
When MiyVue.com pressed the other three elected members present, (Mr. Glenn Phillip, Dr. Earl Asim Martin and Mr. Patrice Nisbett), to declare their intentions, they all declined comment. Member for Parliament for East Basseterre, and Minister of Housing, Public Works, Energy and Public Utilities, Dr. Martin, jokingly dodged the question by stating “leave that for parliament. Divisions (declaration of each individual vote) take place in parliament.” This elicited laughter from the press corps and the Cabinet members alike.
However, though providing “a light moment” during the press conference; on a more serious note, it also was perhaps a missed opportunity for the other elected members of the government, just as Ms. Liburd did, to firmly state that they will not vote for the motion of no confidence, or that they may do so. It was a missed opportunity to clear the air and just as Minister Liburd did, be unequivocal in their loyalty to the Prime Minister and his Administration.
This is especially important when some members of the opposition, who helped to fashion and file the motion of no confidence, have claimed that apart from Dr. Timothy Harris and Sam Condor, there are others on the government side, who could possibly support, (vote in favour), of the motion. However, some political sources believe this is unlikely.
It was therefore for the avoidance of doubt and particularly for the people of the country, that a firm declaration of support for the prime minister would have been best served by three other Members of Parliament stating their positions.
Thursday’s press conference was called by the Government and the members of Cabinet present used the opportunity to brief the media and public on various programmes and initiatives being pursued by the administration.
Not attending the press conference were Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas and Senator Richard Skerritt. Apologies were extended for the absence of Senator Richard Skerritt, Minister of Tourism and International Transportation, whom they said was overseas.
The notice provided, inviting the media to the press conference had not named the Prime Minister, amongst those to be in attendance. It stated, “Members of the Federal Cabinet of St. Kitts and Nevis – the Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin; Hon. Marcella Liburd; Hon. Glenn Phillip; Hon. Patrice Nisbett; Hon. Jason Hamilton; Hon. Nigel Carty and Hon. Richard Skerritt – will be holding a Press Briefing on matters of national interest on Thursday January 31st 2013 at 10 a.m.”
The press conference was chaired by Ms. Liburd.
It was held at the Parliamentary Lounge, at Government Headquarters. However, no explanation was provided to indicate why the prime minister was not amongst those scheduled to be present.