The Opposition in Parliament had indicated weeks ago, that it would be proposing a draft Integrity in Public Life bill to Parliament. That document, according to reports, was delivered to the Clerk of the House and was expected to have been included on the order paper for Thursday 28th April, 2011’s sitting.
“I am not so sure yet what position will be taken but certainly, we have to make it very clear that it is something that has to be dealt with and the government cannot ignore it. It has to be dealt with. I saw a comment from the Honourable Sam Condor saying that it had to go to the government’s Parliamentary Council for assessment and so it appears is where it is at, at the moment and that appears to be the reason that is being advanced as to why it is not on the order paper,” Brantley informed MiyVue.com in an exclusive interview.
Similar legislation was first proposed by the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party-led administration in 1996 where it was given its first reading but was never passed into law.
Brantley noted that there is still the possibility that the draft legislation would be included on the order paper.
“…We are the ones who have drafted it, we are the ones who have put it together and so we would imagine that if there is any attention to be paid by the Parliamentary Council, it ought to be quite limited. But we would hear what is said tomorrow in Parliament, I don’t want to prejudge anything. We will see whether or not they are prepared to amend the order paper to have it included and read a first time. In reality we are only looking for a first reading and thereafter we expect that there would be widespread consultation on it.”
If it is not included, however, Brantley said all members of the Opposition would have to make an informed decision on the way forward.
“We would have to make a collective decision, that is, by the parties that are in Opposition that have come together, because we feel that this is an important initiative so we would have to make a decision at that point in terms of how we advance this. But I believe the opposition is resolute that we will not retreat and we will not surrender and we look forward to being able to report to the general public that the Integrity in Public Life legislation has become law.”