From left: Dr Timothy Harris, NDP Leader Arnhim Eustace and PAM Leader Shawn Richards in St Vincent and the Grenadines
By Ken Richards
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (WINN) -- The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has been found wanting and is guilty of ignoring constitutional breaches in one of its member states, according to Dr Timothy Harris, the head of the opposition alliance in St Kitts and Nevis known as Team Unity. Meanwhile, St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas accused the opposition of trying to give the region the wrong impression.
Team Unity and the official opposition in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the New Democratic Party (NDP), joined forces in Kingstown on Monday in holding protests and other activities aimed at pressuring CARICOM heads at their intersessional meeting in St Vincent to put the no confidence motion stalemate in Basseterre on the CARICOM agenda.
The opposition efforts appear to have been timed to overshadow the official CARICOM meeting. At a news conference on Monday, Team Unity’s Harris blasted CARICOM for not helping resolve the crisis in St Kitts. Embracing the opportunity to address a regional audience through the media gathered in St Vincent for the summit, Harris said CARICOM was making a mistake by allowing the situation in Basseterre to fester without helping find a remedy.
“So the people of Venezuela and the Ukraine come in for special attention from CARICOM, for what some may describe as unlawful behaviour, while the peace loving people of St Kitts and Nevis are ignored, forgotten and unrewarded for good public behaviour,” Harris told reporters at a news conference in Kingstown.
He queried whether CARICOM heads were waiting for the people of St Kitts to “kill each other” before deciding to intervene.
The opposition leader in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Arnhim Eustace, meanwhile reiterated his concerns about the lack of CARICOM attention to the St Kitts problem.
He warned that if left unchecked, the non-tabling of the motion of no confidence in the Denzil Douglas administration could unravel gains made at both CARICOM and OECS level.
In responding to some of what was said in Kingstown on Monday by the opposition Team Unity and the opposition New Democratic Party of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Douglas, also speaking from Kingstown where he is attending the CARICOM heads of government intersessional meeting, in essence told Freedom FM that Harris was involved in mischief making in an attempt to grab power in Basseterre.
“(He) thinks that he can in some way give people of the Caribbean and people of the St Vincent and the Grenadines wrong impressions as to what is happening in our country,” Douglas said.
He also suggested that his CARICOM colleagues being urged to make a formal statement on the motion of no confidence stalemate in Basseterre “are in fact very impressed with what is happening in St Kitts and Nevis”.
Douglas didn’t address directly the contention that he insists in clinging to power despite no longer having the support of the majority of elected MPs in parliament.
He instead brushed aside what he described as opposition attempts to create problems in St Kitts and Nevis.
“The people of St Vincent have been told in several interviews that I have had this morning (Monday) that the country continues to remain very positive and progressive despite the attempts of the opposition to create problems in St Kitts and Nevis,” the prime minister said.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network