By Ken Richards
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- Former government minister and local activist Dwyer Astaphan has defended his fellow activist Richard Caines’ criticism of the governor general in St Kitts and Nevis, over Sir Edmund Lawrence’s continuing silence on the 16-month old motion of no confidence and the parliamentary stalemate this has created.
Governor General Sir Edmund Lawrence
Astaphan said the governor general is not above criticism, especially in circumstances where he is not carrying out duties that should be undertaken in keeping with the constitutional dictates of his office.
“Nobody is above criticism. The constitution reigns supreme and if you are not acting in accordance with the parameters set … then you must expect people to comment you must expected criticism,” Astaphan said of the head of state.
Caines, a former finance minister, took aim at Sir Edmunds on his Operation Rescue programme accusing him of being disrespectful to the federal parliament’s opposition leader, Mark Brantley.
“If the leader of the opposition writes a letter to you, answer him,” Caines said.
Astaphan says he fully supports his colleague on that matter, while acknowledging that the situation is a difficult one for the governor general.
“As difficult as it is, the governor general has obligations; our constitution is supreme in our country. Letters have been written to the governor general by opposition members he has chosen not to respond to any,” Astaphan said.
“He cannot put himself above the law. What he should do is put himself above the fray and that is exactly what he is not doing,” the former minister said.
Astaphan said Sir Edmund should step down instead of sidestepping what are the duties of a head of state.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network