BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – WEEKS ago, it was being suggested that popular businessman and former President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Franklin Brand was tipped to be named Speaker of the National Assembly.
His consideration for the position was confirmed today (Apr. 2) by Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris during his first press conference since assuming leadership of the twin-island Federation.
He was being questioned by the media about a possible time in which the august body would be convened. And while he did not give a specific date, Dr. Harris said guidelines spelt out in the Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis as to when this should take place would be followed.
“…Yes, we are within time. We will pay faithful allegiance to the constitutional requirement, and once we are in that we are very, very happy. The Constitution gives us 90 days, not two days, because it wanted us to be thoughtful, to be careful how we are going to approach the parliamentary session and we are doing that and we are getting there. In time we will announce what will happen.”
He informed however that regarding the position of Speaker of the House, his Cabinet had agreed upon Brand’s nomination.
“I can say to you that that yes, the Cabinet has agreed to the nomination of Mr. Franklyn Brand as the Speaker of the National Assembly. So you see we are already knowing and doing and you know that will come in time. So that is where we are at, at this particular moment…
“As we get closer there, you will know and it shouldn’t be that we say everything now and we take some of the interest away from what has always been a very important parliamentary matter on its own.”
The last Speaker of the National Assembly was the Hon. Curtis Martin who served from 2008 to January 16, 2015. His stint was shrouded in controversy relative to the Motions of No Confidence which the then Opposition had filed against the then Labour Party Government.
Before Martin, the Hon. Marcella Liburd, who is now the Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Number Two, served from 2004 to 2008.
The Hon. Walford Gumbs served in the capacity of Speaker of the House for eight years from 1996 and he was preceded by the Hon. Ivan Buchanan who served for 10 years from 1985.
According to the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis, Section 32(1) and (2), the first order of business when Parliament first convenes following a General Election, is to elect a Speaker and the next is to elect a Deputy Speaker.