In an apparent rebuttal of the claim, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas has launched his own attack on the opposition, saying that instead of arguing about not being invited they ought to be more focused on their attendance in parliament, which they have been partly boycotting since December last year. This they have done, as a form of protest over the refusal, for the past 9 months, of the Government and the Speaker of the Assembly, to allow debate and vote on the much delayed motion of no confidence.
In addition, given that two former government members crossed the floor to join the opposition to give it a slim one seat majority of elected representatives, they have also categorized the Denzil Douglas Administration, as an illegitimate government and as such, one that such not be facilitated in parliament, to help pass legislation.
Douglas however, has countered their argument by suggesting that the – opposition “parliamentarians need to shoulder their legislative responsibilities in the lawmaking body instead of fighting to attend events held for the recent State Visit by the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan).”
The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party leader also quipped that the opposition should not be expecting invitations for the recent state visit because the events were organized by the same government that they claim is illegal.
Speaking on his weekly radio programme on Tuesday (27th August), Dr. Douglas remarked, “Imagine my horror, therefore, at the pouting and whining from Opposition Parliamentarians, because according to them, they had not been allowed to participate in President Ma’s visit. Was this visit not being arranged by the same Government they had claimed is illegitimate?”
“…let there be no doubt, their participation in the President of Taiwan’s State Visit, would have required precisely the type of involvement with the Government that they have supposedly been avoiding ”, remarked the prime minister.
He went on to state however that some of the events organized for Ma’s visit were attended by Premier of Nevis Vance Amory, and that the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Brantley, who is also the Deputy Premier of Nevis, was invited. However, the Prime Minister did not explain if both lawmakers were invited as members of government in Nevis or as members of the opposition at the federal level.
This is the basis of the claim of some federal opposition members who maintain that no invitations were extended to them as parliamentarians in the federal legislature.
Dr. Douglas also lashed out on his opponents by saying that their boycott of the Assembly has left only the government side to debate and analyze the different pieces of legislation that are being brought for discussion and action.
The opposition has however charged that the government hardly ever considers any input being made by opposition members and at one point when they tried to introduce the Integrity in Public Life Act, every effort was made by the government to block the proposed legislation.