Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas (left) and former National Security Minister Dwyer Astaphan
By Ken Richards
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- Accusations that he is a dictator have been rejected by St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas.
The allegations have been made by opposition politicians, as well as by three of his former government ministers.
In denying these allegations, Douglas suggested in turn that two of the three: Dr Timothy Harris and Dwyer Astaphan have dictatorial tendencies.
He also labeled former national security minister Astaphan, who has Lebanese roots, as a racist.
“I dismiss it simply because I have had the opportunity to examine myself … and I don’t think I am a dictator,” the prime minister said in response to the claims that he acts in a dictatorial manner.
“I believe that Harris has serious dictatorial tendencies – ruthless. Dwyer has also strong dictatorial tendencies because Dwyer is a racist,” Douglas said in an interview on radio station Freedom FM.
According to Douglas, Astaphan, who held the tourism and national security portfolios in government, had difficulty with “a young black boy from St Paul’s (meaning he, Douglas)” heading the Cabinet when the former parliamentarian was a minister.
Astaphan dismissed the prime minister’s statement as “an unfortunate remark” that is “very untrue”.
He says that he will be seeking legal advice on that matter.
According to Astaphan, the remark is coming from “a desperate man who would say anything to create around him a very unreal bubble of security because he knows that he is done.”
“Of course I will have to instruct my solicitors, with regard to this comment that he made to see if it is something that maybe we ought to pursue, because it is certainly defamatory to accuse somebody of being racist,” Astaphan told WINN FM.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network