BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - WITH the first Parliament set to sit later this month, Nevis’ Premier Mark Brantley has been appointed Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly.
Confirmation was made in a post cabient statement, which stated that the Cabinet was informed that the Parliamentary Representative for Nevis Nine, Hon. Mark Brantley, was appointed Lead of the Opposition by the Governor-General on Monday (Oct. 10).
Brantley, the Leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), commands the majority of elected members of the opposition, where his part holds three of the five seats on the opposition side of the political isle.
During an interview with Freedom FM, Premier Brantley explained that he indeed commands the majority of the opposition members and they had supported him in being the Leader.
Brantley reminded that he has experience in that realm as he started out in the same position back in 2007.
The Concerned Citizens Movement has three of the five seats in the Federal Opposition, while the People's Action Movement and the People's Labour Party have one each.
In a press release from the Nevis Island Administration, Brantley said: “I can confirm that his Excellency has appointed me as Leader of the Opposition. As you know, pursuant to the Constitutional provisions, the Leader of the Opposition is the person who, in his opinion, commands the support of a majority of those who are not on the Government benches.
“There are currently five elected members on the Opposition benches- one from the PLP (Peoples Labour Party), one from PAM (Peoples Action Movement) and three from the CCM- and so certainly the CCM has a majority of seats on the Opposition benches, and it was the considered view that based on my own experience in the parliament and based on the time that I’ve spent there, that I could provide that support in that position, I could provide credible alternatives in terms of views and opinions expressed in the parliament and that I had the breadth of experience that was necessary.”
Brantley’s parliamentary career started at the National Assembly as Opposition Leader in August 2007, following his success in the by-election on Nevis in 2007 and has served in that position until 2015.
The press release noted that as Leader of the Opposition, Brantley pledged that he would continue to engage in mature and meaningful debate in pursuit of the advancement of the country and people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We are looking forward definitely to the first sitting of the House. I gather that will happen October 25 and we look forward to getting down to the matters of governance. The truth is the elections are over and we are now in a different phase and this now is a time for the country to get together, for our people to work together, and I think the Opposition has a critical role to play to ensure that legislation and policies that are crafted through the parliament are for the benefit for all of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis…
“I intend to provide an alternative view where necessary but also to lend support where necessary, because as I said the elections are over, we now need to focus on governance and we now need to see what are the best prescriptions to move our country and people forward,” the NIA release quoted him as saying.