BASSETERRE, ST. Kitts - LEADER of the Opposition, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas has given Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris 48 hours to retract the statement of him being a citizen of another country, or face a defamation suit.
Yesterday (Oct. 3) at his monthly press conference, Prime Minister Harris told reporters that certain information was recently drawn to his attention which he felt obliged, in the public’s interest, to share with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“I made these comments with respect to the information. One, Dr. Denzil Douglas is a citizen of another country other than St. Kitts and Nevis. Dr. Denzil Douglas promotes the CIP of another country and undermines that of St. Kitts and Nevis. Thirdly, Dr. Denzil Douglas strangely holds a diplomatic passport of another country.”
He challenge Dr. Douglas “to confirm the truth or otherwise of the foregoing information to which I have been made privy to and I have fared in the public interest”.
The Prime Minister also said: “The possession of a passport by the Leader of the Opposition, other than a St. Kitts and Nevis passport, in my view, raises significant questions of a civic, political and constitutional nature. And I posit the following for consideration.
“In my humble view, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis have a constitutional right to be represented only by people who owe and who appear to owe their undivided loyalty and allegiance to the Federation.”
Dr. Harris also said that the matter bears an investigation, which should consider whether holding the diplomatic passport undermines the Federal interest of St. Kitts and Nevis.
As a guest today on Freedom FM’s radio programme – ‘Issues’ – Dr. Douglas denied being a citizen of any country other than St. Kitts and Nevis and claimed Dr. Harris made that statement, among others, in an attempt to “lure you away from focusing on the failing policies of the government of incompetence that he leads”.
Dr. Douglas told the listening public that during his address to the nation yesterday, on Freedom FM, he had posed a number of serious and pertinent questions to the Prime Minister about the inclusion of a third option to the Federation’s Citizenship By Investment Programme.
“Instead of responding to those questions that focus on the good people’s business, especially at these difficult times, he used our taxpayers’ dollars to hold a press conference to spew untruth about the Leader of the Opposition.”
The leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party reminded that he was Prime Minister of the twin-island Federation for close to 20 years, a Parliamentarian since 1989 and that he is not the holder of dual citizenship.
“I have never held and will never ever hold the citizenship of any other country, except the one in which I was born and the one to which I have committed my life to serve. Prime Minister Harris, he is a vindictive and treacherous coward who has little respect for the office that he holds and for the people in whose trust he serves...”
He added: “Dr. Harris believes that his attempt to spite the Leader of the Opposition by disrespecting him, failing to release funding for his office as required by law as Leader of the Opposition and refusing him the use of a diplomatic passport are reasonable courses of action in a modern St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Dr. Douglas made reference to the time when he was prime minister and what he had done for his predecessor and his wife.
“When I was in office, I afforded Dr. Sir Kennedy Simmonds and his wife diplomatic passports because it was the right thing to do despite our political differences. He was a former prime minister; he is today our National Hero. He deserved that kind of respect and I gave him that respect.”
He however stressed that the Federation’s Political Leader did not afford him the same treatment and respect, and that Dr. Harris is angry because of the offers made to him by a number of Caribbean leaders.
“Dr. Harris, like a jealous spoilt child, is irate that my colleague Caribbean leaders have reached out to accommodate me with diplomatic status as a former prime minister and Caribbean leader. However, I, Dr. Denzil Llewellyn Douglas, will never ever accept the citizenship of any other country.”
He said if someone holds a diplomatic status for another country, that does not make him or her a citizen of that country.
Reiterating his position on dual citizenship, Dr. Douglas said: “I hold no second citizenship for any other country. I hold one citizenship and that is for St. Kitts and Nevis. If any of my colleagues offers me diplomatic status, I have been advised that it does not give me any citizenship within the country. I have never applied for citizenship in any country. I will not do so...”
He accused Dr. Harris of being selfish, self-serving and called upon him to retract his statement.
“I give him 48 hours to retract his statement and to apologise. If he does not, I will then pass the information to my lawyers for them to institute what I believe should be a defamation law suit against Dr. Harris.”
Meanwhile, one caller to the programme had enquired of Dr. Douglas if he is providing services as a Service Provider to the CIP.
“No, I don’t,” was his response. “I have not done it in St. Kitts and I have not done it abroad either. But, let me tell you, in my capacity right now where I am not in government, any country, any entity wishes to have a consultancy services, which will be paid services or otherwise, and I personally feel I can give, I will give those services.”