By Caribbean News Global contributor
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Despite an agreement by CARICOM and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) leaders to gradually relax the restrictions for travel and open their borders, possibly by the first week of June, the prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis (SKN), Dr Timothy Harris, is intent on keeping the country in a State of Emergency and total lockdown for an indefinite period.
Only a few days ago, Saturday, May 9, despite plausible agreeing with his other prime ministerial colleagues, Dr Harris claimed that there is no rush to open SKN’s borders; as opening prematurely “will bring much pain.” He previously insisted that “there are no immediate plans to unlock our borders other than in the measured way that we have allowed them to operate.”
In the face of being forced by Cabinet, dominated by his coalition colleagues of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) to follow the Constitution, and end his attempt to use the State of Emergency as an excuse for the un-avoidable dissolution of parliament on Thursday, May 14, Dr Harris seems set on defying both PAM and the wishes of the people of St Kitts and Nevis.
Former prime minister, Dr Denzil Douglas, and leader of the opposition St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) said, “It is clear that, in defying his own Cabinet, Dr Harris wants to have the election without opening the borders and thereby deny nationals access to their home country. These are nationals who have the right to vote and who, as patriots, have a never-ending commitment to our country. Through the repatriation of funds and other forms of support, they contribute meaningfully to our development, and through their votes play an important role in our national elections.”
Dr Douglas says that the position taken by Dr Harris is not just an insult to his OECS and CARICOM colleagues but to democracy itself in two ways.
First, by being part of a decision of his peers and then deciding not to support or uphold it. And secondly, trying to have the elections without opening the borders to St Kitts and Nevis nationals.
Dr Douglas says that prime minister Dr Harris will try to hang on, by the skin of his teeth to power, so that he could continue to milk the country and the people for every cent he could possibly get to perhaps “fill his own pockets”, insisted that, “what you will see, is another three months of excesses, nepotism, and blatant opportunism.”