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Never Was in Doubt that Senator Appointment Was Unconstitutional

Amory said on that day the Government knowingly proceeded, though it was obvious that they were in defiance of the country’s constitution, when Mr. Jason Hamilton was allowed to take an oath to be sworn in as a Senator of the Assembly. This oath said Amory ought not to have been administered by Speaker Curtis Martin, stated Amory.

He said, recognizing that the House was resuming from an adjournment, on debate on the Increase in Senators Bill, the session ought to have continued, uninterrupted by the move to swear in Mr. Hamilton.

The Nevis Premier and leader of the ruling Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM, said “For me, it is unfortunate that a matter, in my opinion, as simple as that had to lead to litigation in the court.”

The matter was taken to court by the Leader of the People’s Action Movement, (PAM), Mr. Shawn Richards and fellow parliamentarian, Mr. Sam Condor, who until recently was the Deputy Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The move by the Administration of Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas to have Hamilton sworn in was designed, according to PAM, to help the government gain an extra vote for the passage of its Increase in Senators Bill. This was accomplished by a one vote margin of 8-7.

However, Richards and Condor challenged the action and the High Court agreed with their position.

Justice John Benjamin on Thursday 28th February, 2013, returned a verdict in favour of the claimants (Richards and Condor), declaring that the appointments of Hamilton both as a Senator and Attorney General were null and void. According to their lawyers, the judge also declared that the Act itself, to increase the number of Senators from three to six, was invalid and also declared null and void.


 

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