LEADER OF OPPOSITION DISRESPECTS GOVERNMENT MEDIA WORKER IN PARLIAMENT; SPEAKER RULES THAT HE APOLOGIZES

Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 19, 2018 (SKNIS): Leader of the Opposition, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, is in the spotlight again in the National Assembly. This time he is not being ejected, as he has on several occasions for bad behaviour, but he is being asked by the Speaker of the House, the Honourable A. Michael Perkins, to apologize to a government media worker.

Fernando Hope, an employee of the Government, who works as a photographer at the Department of the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS) was “contemptuously chastised” by Dr. Douglas for taking his photograph during the National Assembly on December 18.

In a letter written to Speaker Perkins dated December 18, 2018, Mr. Hope complained that “on December 16, 2018, while carrying out my duties, and while the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd was delivering his presentation on the 2019 Budget, I was contemptuously chastised by the Leader of the Opposition, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, who shouted at me, telling me not to take his photo and questioning why I was taking his photo.”

Dr. Douglas could be heard shouting loudly “Don’t take my picture please. I don’t know why it is you taking my photograph. Mr. Speaker, I don’t know why he’s here taking my photograph. I don’t want you to take my picture. What you taking my picture for?”

Mr. Hope said that he was “dumbfounded by the egregious actions of the Leader of the Opposition as I was only performing my duty in the hallowed chamber.” Mr. Hope has been working at the Department of SKNIS for two years.

“Sir, I have brought this to your attention in writing because I felt insulted by the Leader of the Opposition in carrying out my sacred duty, that of covering the proceedings of Parliament as a public servant,” he said.

“I would hope that in carrying out my duties in the future, I would never be approached by any parliamentarian in such a disrespectful manner and that I would be accorded the greatest of respect as a functionary of the government and country which I serve,” Mr. Hope added.

The letter was read by Speaker Perkins in the Sitting of the National Assembly on December 19, 2018.

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