The strong sentiment was expressed at Dwyer Astaphan’s “Operation Rescue” public meeting held on the evening of Thursday, 3rd February, 2011, at Greenlands Park.
One of four featured speakers, Caines presented his argument based on the supreme law of the land, the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis. He explained that according to Section 55 of the Constitution, which speaks to the Absence or Illness of the Prime Minister, “Whenever the Prime Minister is absent from St. Christopher and Nevis, or by reason of illness is unable to perform the functions conferred upon him by the Constitution, the Governor General may appoint some other minister to perform those functions.”
Based on this, Caines questioned, “When last have you heard about an acting Prime Minister here in St. Kitts? You tell me!…when last have you heard about an acting Prime Minister…. Here you have a lawless Prime Minister. This is the law of the land, the Constitution. What does it say? (It says) whenever the Prime Minister if absent or ill…somebody must be appointed,” Caines vociferously expressed.
Caines further explained that following the 25th January, 2010 general elections, Dr. Douglas left the Federation and went abroad without having someone appointed to act as Prime Minister. He also indicated that, at that point, just one day following the elections, there wasn’t an installed government.
“…We had elections, (on) the 25th of January (2010). Prime Minister Dr. Douglas left here and (went to) Libya, No government was appointed in this country. What happened to us as Kittitians and Nevisians? Which law he operated under? And when he was challenged, he said he could run the government from his blackberry…
“We (had) just had an election, no government was in place and he gone Libya and he said he could run the country from his blackberry. Well, we should hang our heads in shame, all of us, because…he was talking to all of us. That is why we have to unite and tell this man that this country is ours. We have more stake in it than him.”
Caines explained that this was cause for concern because “let us say something happened in the country that required the input of a Prime Minister or a minister of government”, what would have been done then especially when a government had not yet been appointed?
“Anything that they did and applied a name, you could challenge it in court. They could not have a name because…there was no government in place. Well, that is the lawlessness… (This is) Operation Rescue indeed because Dr. Douglas has taken us down a slippery slope and we are going to slide and continue to slide as long as he remains the Prime Minister of this country.”
The former Minister of Government in the PAM administration said the federation currently suffers from “political corruption” and that if the situation is to be improved, Dr. Douglas must be removed from office.