The High Court of Justice found Dr. Merchant in contempt as a result of the Prime Minister Dr. Douglas’ desperation to change electoral boundaries at the last hour without any consultation or discussion with the people of the federation. This act by Dr. Douglas precipitated the Opposition People’s Action Movements Deputy Political Leader the Hon. Shawn K. Richards to file an application for an injunction, which was granted, against the government which ordered the administration not to take any steps to change the electoral boundaries. Despite the injunction ruling the Prime Minister proceeded to lay the proclamation in parliament despite the court ordered injunction prohibiting such.
“The contempt of court application came as a result of an attempted act of deception by the government,” said PAM Leader Lindsay Grant. “The government legal team requested an adjournment to attend a meeting of the National Assembly. They purposely failed to tell Justice Belle what were their true intentions. But in parliament the Prime Minister said that the case was adjourned to permit parliament to go ahead and institute changes to the electoral boundaries. This resulted in the now famous comment about “Stranger to the truth!” which has become a popular line our Kittitian lexicon,” Grant continued.
The People’s Action Movement felt that the government including the Attorney General and Prime Minister Douglas should be called to account for their attempt to breach the court injunction.
Yesterday’s judgment specifically noted that the court found that it was reasonable for contempt proceedings to be taken by the People’s Action Movement against the government.
PAM Leader Lindsay Grant further scoffed at Prime Minister Douglas’ call for an apology and said “Dr. Douglas’ call for an apology is nonsense especially when the High Court of Justice said it was in the Public Interest to bring up the government for contempt. The People’s Action Movement therefore calls on Dr. Douglas to apologize to the country for the action that they took while the injunction was in place. We believe the government should have respect for the rule of law and when the court is so moved to declare that the entire Labor government of Dr. Douglas is in contempt, Did Dr. Merchant apologize?.. Did Dr. Douglas ask him to apologize? Let Dr. Douglas and Dr. Merchant both know that any time they step out of line the People’s Action Movement legal team stands ready, willing and able to bring them before the seat of justice as none of them is above the law,” Grant concluded.