“Motion of no confidence against PM Harris to scheduled within 21 days”, says Shawn Richards

On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Deputy PM Richards made the announcement during his address to the nation and stated that in keeping with the rules of parliament that the motion will be placed for an urgent sitting of parliament will be scheduled within 21 days.

Deputy Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis and Leader of People's Action Movement Shawn K Richards
Deputy Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis and Leader of People's Action Movement Shawn K Richards

St Kitts and Nevis: Abiding in their decision of formally lodging a motion of no confidence against the leadership of the Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of People’s Action Movement (PAM) Shawn K Richards declared that the motion would be scheduled at the earliest within 21 days. 

On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Deputy PM Richards made the announcement during his address to the nation and stated that in keeping with the rules of parliament that the motion will be placed for an urgent sitting of parliament will be scheduled within 21 days. 

He said that he knows some people are sceptical about the schedule being kept because of the recent memory of Late Ambassador Vance Amory, but the further delay will not only be just against the rules of parliament but also against the genuine national interest. 

Richards pointed out, “This new era of political uncertainty brought honoured by the action and inaction must come to an end at the earliest. To be a worthy nation, the country must be committed to following the rules that sustain and give credibility to the democracy.”

He emphasized that Prime Minister Harris must remember the episode, which will forever be a stain on the national democratic psyche of the nation, and they don’t expect that history to repeat itself. 

Touching the motion, Richards exclaimed that they wanted that motion should be duly debated and passed as a new phase in the political history demands accountability. He stressed, “We are confident that we will get the majority support of the parliament and people will make the political ramifications of this landmark motion.”

Richards further added that the leadership of the government has no inclination to offer genuine inclusion and to change its overall approach to the things that have led to the broken down trusts in Team Unity.

 He quoted, “We are still confident that when the motion is aired, it will get the support of nine of the 11 MPs, and we understand what this means- there will be an election in which the people will have the opportunity to renew their fate in the principles of Team Unity. 

Deputy PM of St Kitts and Nevis claimed that this time people would get the real unity which is the coalition of the willing partners in an election in which the PAM and CCM will be dominant. 

“We also expect that when this is done, we will be able to govern through a partnership with our friends in Nevis and in a new era of real unity.”

He said that all the ministers of PAM and CCM will run a campaign on hope, not fear, and shall rally a nation whose recent memories of the experiences of various versions of labour will give it pause and added, “we shall be comforted by history that real unity is a dream to be pursued it is a dream that still could be attained as I close.”

While emphasizing their selfless commitment toward citizens, the Deputy PM said that all PAM and CCM ministers could have continued to close their eyes to the injustice and continue in the so-called lofty positons, but they took a decision to do what is right and to sacrifice in the interests of all citizens. 

He further said that they also don’t want an election but, “If one comes to be assured we are ready and confident of victory, a new election will bring the uncertainties of any election, and that is Timothy Harris will not be our next prime minister.

Applauding his step of presenting no motion confidence, the leader of PAM noted that it will provide an opportunity to refresh the confidence in the democratic ideals of this favoured state where constitutionality and accountability reign side by side.” 

Talking about Eugene Hamilton, Deputy PM said that while he is not a signatory to the motion, still he would always remain a valuable member of the PAM, and they will intend to continue to engage him. 

“My brother Eugene has different views on many aspects of the current political debate, and he has articulated many of them in our ongoing discussions. He is an experienced man with strong views, and as a democratic movement, we respect that we understand some of his concerns though obviously not his conclusions.” 

He further expressed that trust in team unity has eroded and the government has failed to keep too many promises, failed to give a fair share to everyone and has fallen short on the issues of good governance and accountability. 

The leader of PAM asserted that to abide by honesty, they must accept the misgivings and then move on to correct them. 

He claimed that even Hamilton has also accepted that in general terms, Prime Minister Harris has failed in his general duties to the values and principles of Team Unity, and that is what PAM and CCM have not accepted as there are principles which are larger than own individual concerns principles that everyone must stand up for even if it causes them personal discomfort.

Richards announced the beginning of a new era in which new Team Unity, also known as Real Unity, will focus on 14 pillar agenda with a new start and a new vision. Pillars are as follows: 

  • Republican System: The full actualization of the political aspirations to chart the own destiny under a republican system of government, where a Kittitian or Nevisian sits as the Head of state. 
  • Review Monarchial System: The time has come for St Kitts and Nevis to review its Monarchial system of government and to begin the dialogue to advance to a new status, just as Trinidad, Guyana, Dominica and now Barbados have done in the past. 
  • Good Governance: We remain committed to the pledge of Good Governance and will introduce and, where applicable, operationalize legislation to give effect to Freedom of Information, Team Limits, Integrity in Public Life, Electoral Reform, and others. 
  • Awarding of Contracts: We will also work with agencies within the structure of government and with private sector representatives to introduce new legislation, policies and procedures to curtail and eventually eliminate the problems associated with the awarding of major government contracts and with corruption. 
  • Economic Development: We will build an economy that is driven by Tourism, Light Manufacturing, Information and Technology, Agriculture, the Culture and Entertainment Sector and Services. 
  • Tourism Boost: In addition to the traditional tourism of cruise and land-based, we will pursue a new agenda in Sports Tourism and Education Tourism. 
  • Agriculture: Agriculture will become a priority focus for food security and wealth creation. 
  • Immigration Reform: This would include amnesty for all qualified foreigners who are in our country. And it will include a new Residency Status Programme and a reduction in the number of years for legal residents to qualify for citizenship. In other words, our new partnerships would give consideration to introducing a Blue Card, similar to the American Green Card. 
  • Youth Agenda: A new Youth Agenda that shall see greater opportunities for young people in business increased academic scholarships, mentorship programmes, and vocational initiatives are part of our programme for the way forward. 
  • Poverty Alleviation: We will also pursue an aggressive programme for poverty alleviation to lift our citizens to the highest heights of social and economic security. 
  • Rastafarian Community: Our new agenda will also include partnerships with the Rastafarian community to offer land and other assistance to build a temple for their worship and the practice of their faith.