We in Team Unity not only honour our youths in our words but we will always honour them in our deeds. The people of St. Kitts and Nevis are tired of the empty rhetoric of an illegitimate Prime Minister. Instead they want action that would lay the proper foundation for a brighter future. We believe that it is what we do every day as servants of the people that demonstrates true honour, respect and empowerment of our young people and their families.
This is why we have already announced that a new Team Unity government will provide FREE Pre-school Education for our children as one of the key components of a Prosperity Agenda. This is why a Team Unity government will have an Economic Recovery and Jobs plan as another key component of the prosperity agenda. All of our young people, including the outstanding teens being honoured, need to know that there is a strong St. Kitts and Nevis economy where they can get a quality education; where there are guaranteed opportunities for them to go to college and university to acquire higher knowledge and skills that will better position them to return to their homeland to raise their families, build sustainable communities and contribute to national growth, development and prosperity.
Today makes it three hundred and fifty days since I, as Leader of the Opposition, submitted to the Clerk of this National Assembly, a Motion of No Confidence in the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis under the leadership of Denzil Douglas. To date, that motion sits in abeyance. Meanwhile, two sitting CARICOM Prime Ministers and one former Prime Minister have within the last three months or so, made public comments with regard the imperative of a Motion of No Confidence and I wish to quote them here:
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines: “It is axiomatic that a democratically-elected government ought always to be representative of the people. That representativeness is made manifest in a government which commands the majority of the representatives elected in free and fair elections. When a government no longer has the support of the majority of the elected members of the Parliament, it has several options, namely: (i) To resign and cause fresh general elections to be held; (ii) to face a vote of confidence in the legislature in appropriate circumstances; or (iii) to act in accordance with any other appropriate constitutional directive given by the Head of State (Governor General). These are eternal, core principles of good governance. So, it is usual and expected that when a motion of no-confidence, properly drafted, is duly filed against a government, such a motion ought to be deliberately considered and determined by the legislature in the shortest time practicable, having regard to all pressing or other extraordinary exigencies of State. That is an established constitutional convention in parliamentary democracy.”
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados: “A no confidence motion is not child’s play. It is an impeachment, it is a prosecution…you are actually impeaching the political integrity of a Minister of the Crown and you have a duty to lay out your case and to prove it.”
Former Prime Minister Lester Bird of Antigua and Barbuda: “The democratic process in St. Kitts and Nevis is being undermined” by the delay in hearing the Motion of No Confidence.
Every day that the Motion of No Confidence is not heard undermines democracy and progress in this country. Every day that the Motion of No Confidence is not heard, deprives the people of this country of an opportunity to elect a new Unity government that will immediately set about to:
Provide more Jobs
Improve the Economy
Reduce Electricity costs
Reduce the Cost of Living
Reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT)
Provide better Health Care
Improve the Tourism industry
Eliminate government Corruption
Reduce Food Prices
Provide more affordable Housing
We honour the youth of St. Kitts and Nevis who are excelling and achieving in various endeavours at the highest levels in our society. We look at them and realize that our future business owners, entrepreneurs, and the workforce of this country are in good hands. However, because we are concerned about their future and the future of our country we say, on their behalf to the people of our Nation and to the world, that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
What we do today has a direct impact on how you will live tomorrow. We must either stand up for what is right as a Nation or forever fall victim to what is wrong.
Based on the above, the members of the Elected Majority have to date on principle embarked on a programme of non-participation in the affairs of the dysfunctional Parliament. We will not lend credibility to the subversion of Parliamentary principles and conventions. Neither, will we lend legitimacy to an unconstitutional regime.
In the context of the foregoing and in continuing its principled stance, the Elected Majority will be absent from Wednesday’s sitting of Parliament. Our absence is not directed at the awardees, nor at their parents, well-wishers nor the organizers and benefactors of the 25 Most Remarkable Youths. It is instead the continuation of our principled stance of defiance of an illegitimate and unconstitutional regime.
Our youth and our people deserve to live in a country that abides by the highest standards of democracy and the rule of law. A country where our leaders abide by the constitution. A country which is progressive socially, economically and politically and our patrimony is protected for generations to come. We, the Elected Majority, pledge to you the young people of our Nation that we will work tirelessly to bring prosperity for you and your families and ensure that we once again live in a Nation where the respect for democracy and the rule of law are paramount.
A new Unity government will provide the enabling environment so that you can be whatever you want to be as productive members of our society, whether you are professionals, entrepreneurs or workers in the public sector, in tourism, manufacturing, agriculture or the knowledge and information sector.
It gives me great pleasure at this time, as Leader of the Opposition, and on behalf of Team Unity to honour you, the “25 Outstanding Teens”:
1. Onica Hewitt
2. Xavier French
3. Blesina Charles
4. Tama Martin
5. Ajamu King
6. Marcel James
7. Craig Nisbette
8. Shyan Liburd
9. Trevon Gaskin
10. Trevecia Nisbette
11. Toriano Samuels
12. Austawaki Coker
13. Kisean Warner
14. Kristal Liburd
15. Annick Bedford
16. Patricia Halliday
17. Aalyah Caines
18. Uta Trish Taylor
19. Somiche Guishard
20. Keisha Liburd
21. Kadesha Hodge
22. Aaron Jackson
23. Ian James
24. Tarana Kacker
25. Kelvina Salters
We recognize you for your example of excellence. God Bless our youth, our people, and our country of St. Kitts and Nevis.