BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE infighting within the Government has reached its peak as Ministers filed a Motion of No Confidence (MONC) against Prime Minister and Leader of the People’s Labour (PLP) Party, Dr. Timothy Harris - with the view of removing him from office.
That document was filed yesterday (Apr. 25) afternoon, according to the Leader of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) and Deputy Prime Minister, Shawn Richards, who indicated that it has the support of six of the nine elected representatives.
This was revealed at a media brief at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, where supporters and leadership were gathered this morning.
“On Monday, April 25, 2022, the majority of members of the Team Unity Government formally lodged with the Clerk of Parliament a Motion of No Confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris,” Richards told reporters.
The announcement did not come as a surprise as word broke late last evening indicating that the motion was filed.
Over the last few months there were growing concern and differences among the PLP, Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) and PAM, with the latter two working to highlight what they claimed were efforts by the Prime Minister to undermine their parties and the various representatives.
Richards, in his speech, alleged that the Prime Minister sought to undermine all of his Cabinet colleagues, including the other PLP Representative.
Richards and Leader of the CCM, Mark Brantley, both sought to unseat the Prime Minister and have received support from four representatives to pen a letter to the Governor-General, outlining that Dr. Harris does not have the support of the majority of Cabinet.
However, as no decision was not yet forthcoming, they decided fast-track it through the MONC.
There is concern that the Motion might not be tabled in a timely manner, but Richards reminded that it has to be since the legislation was updated to ensure that it is called within a three-week period.
“We expect that in keeping with the rules of Parliament that the Motion will be placed on the Order Paper for an urgent sitting, and that a sitting of Parliament to hear the Motion will be scheduled at the earliest possibility. Indeed, we have been advised that this should be done within 21 days,”
Despite receiving an opposing perspective from the Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Eight, Eugene Hamilton, on the position taken by PAM and the CCM, Richards pointed out that he is still with the party and they would continue to engage him.
“He remains a valuable member of the PAM Caucus. 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,” Richards said.
The Deputy Prime Minister declared that as part of their new Team Unity Construct, it will be with the PAM and the CCM.
He articulated 14 points that they would seek to implement should they return to office when elections are called. That comes as the two parties are expressing confidence in winning the elections.
Despite the push to unseat Dr. Harris, Richards admit to reporters that they are still open to dialogue with the Prime Minister to bring a resolution to the matter.
Should all issues be ironed out before the Motion is debated, the two parties are willing to have it withdrawn.
But Richards was adamant that the new dispensation of the Team Unity would not include Dr. Harris as Prime Minister.
Dr. Harris has been very quiet since these developments came to light.
However, in a short speech last week, he called for calm as the Federation remains under a period of mourning for former Premier and Ambassador Vance Amory.