AS HISTORIC TENURE OF OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER BILL TABLED, LEADER OF ST. KITTS-NEVIS OPPOSITION LEADS PROTEST OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 21, 2018 (SKNIS): As the West Indies (Tenure of Office of Prime Minister) (Constitutional Amendment) Bill, 2018, was being tabled in the National Assembly on February 21, 2018, by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, Leader of the Opposition and former prime minister for 20 years, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, led a small band of dwindling supporters in protest outside the Parliament in support of Opposition Member of Parliament, Honourable Konris Maynard, who was suspended for 10 days from the hallowed Chamber for what Speaker the Honourable Michael Perkins described as “undignified, dishonourable and calculated” conduct designed to bring the House into disrepute.
MP Maynard was named and immediately suspended from the National Assembly for ten days on February 13 for being in violation of the Standing Orders.

That was the second time that MP Maynard had been named by Speaker Perkins for disrespectful behaviour, and the third time that he had been asked to withdraw from the Parliament. On May 23, 2017, he was asked to withdraw and on July 11, 2017, he was named and suspended for five days. MP Maynard had to sit out today’s Parliamentary Sitting. Opposition Member Honourable Marcella Liburd boycotted today’s sitting to be at the protest, however, the Honourable Patrice Nisbett broke ranks with Dr. Douglas, choosing instead to attend Parliament rather than join in the protest.

The West Indies (Tenure of Office of Prime Minister) (Constitutional Amendment) Bill, 2018, is a Bill to amend the West Indies Act Cap. 1.01, to provide for the term of office of the Prime Minister, to amend the Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis and for related matters. The Bill seeks to make an amendment of Section 52 (2) of the Constitution. With the amendment, “a Representative shall not hold office as Prime Minister for more than two terms, whether or not served consecutively.”

If and when the Bill is passed in the House it will be a landmark piece of legislation in the British Caribbean.

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