By Caribbean News Now contributor
BASSETERRE, St Kitts -- The High Court issued an ex parte injunction on Monday restraining the governor general from signing any proclamation to effect any boundary changes in St Kitts and Nevis until a further order of the court.
This in effect means that no boundary change can be effected for the time being.
In a press statement, the so-called “elected majority” of members of parliament in St Kitts and Nevis, said they will continue to challenge the legitimacy of the Denzil Douglas administration.
“In our view, government continues to function without the appropriate constitutional basis. We see the convening of Parliament without the tabling and debate of the motion of no confidence as an abuse of executive power,” the statement read.
There are currently two motions of no confidence before Parliament at this time. The first was filed on December 11, 2012 and, according to the elected majority, it is unheard of in functioning parliamentary democracies that a motion could be held in abeyance for so long.
“The order was against the governor general, which restrains him from relying on the report of the Constituency Boundaries Commission whether directly or indirectly, and restrains him from making any proclamation to effect the boundaries changes,” lead counsel for the claimants Constance Mitcham told WINN FM on Monday morning.
Lawyers for the claimants are asking for a judicial review of the procedure used in preparing the recommendations.
Mitcham said on Monday that they have 48 hours to file their submissions, which include their claims that the Constituency Boundaries Commission asked the parties for recommendations without giving relevant information on proposals so informed decisions could be made. They will also argue that the Commission refused information from experts appointed by the claimants, and will challenge the way in which the boundaries were realigned.
The claimants are opposition MPs Mark Brantley, Eugene Hamilton, Timothy Harris and Shawn Richards.
According to Mitcham, opposition MP Sam Condor fully supports the move of his colleagues, but explained that his constituency will not be affected by the proposed changes. She said, as opposition MP, Vance Amory was a member of the Constituency Boundaries Commission, which is named in the matter, it would not have been appropriate for him to be a claimant.
Meanwhile, the opposition continued its boycott of the Federal Parliament on Monday.
The Boundaries Commission Report recommending changes to the constituency boundaries was approved following a meeting of the CBC last Thursday. Government member Marcella Liburd confirmed its approval and told WINN FM before the start of Parliament Monday that she was expecting that the report would be tabled.
Such a report would be presented as a resolution and so would not necessarily appear on the Order Paper. It would only need to be tabled, assented to by the Governor General and gazetted for its recommendations to take effect.
WINN contributed to this report