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St Kitts-Nevis opposition pickets House Speaker's workplace
Published on February 18, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

National Bank headquarters in Basseterre

By Ken Richards

BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- Opposition grouping Team Unity took to the streets again in St Kitts on Monday, following Friday’s protest outside the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

The target of the latest demonstration was the National Bank where the Speaker of Parliament, Curtis Martin works.

Supporters of the opposition alliance were on both sides of the sidewalk outside the bank, in a bid, they explained, to get the Speaker to table the motion of no confidence in the Denzil Douglas administration, following last Wednesday’s High Court ruling on the motion.

According to the judgment, the Speaker should put the motion before the parliament as a matter of priority in a reasonable time.

Team Unity supporters say the judgment supports what the opposition has said all along, from the time the motion was filed by opposition leader Mark Brantley on December 11, 2012.

“We are here this morning to demonstrate to the Speaker that he must uphold the rule of law. Six is more than five, and we’re not going to stop demonstrating until the Speaker puts the motion of no confidence on the order paper,” one protester said referring to the number of elected MPs on the opposition and government sides.

Another told WINN FM, “The Speaker has been told to call the motion, and until he does so I am prepared to stand up every day and do the right thing.”

A third protester described Prime Minister Denzil Douglas as “a bad example to my children and my grandchildren. He needs to do what he has to do, what he is supposed to do legally and lawfully”.

One doctor participating in the protest action said the no confidence motion had been handled in an unconstitutional manner, in poor taste, and “a slap in the face of all right-thinking persons and the constitution”.

Meanwhile one man who identified himself as a supporter of the governing Labour Party, made it clear that he felt the protest was a useless exercise.

“The protest is a waste of time, they are a bunch of jokers,” he shouted, while also dismissing the decision of the High Court on the matter.

As the protest action wrapped up on Monday morning Team Unity deputy leader Shawn Richards told WINN FM that it achieved its objective of emphasizing that the motion of no confidence must be tabled.

The protest had one specific telling moment – while WINN FM was interviewing Operation Rescue’s Dwyer Astaphan at the scene, an individual identified as a plain clothes police officer began videotaping the interview.

Astaphan, a former government minister, stopped talking, pulled out his mobile phone and himself began taking photos of the officer.

The stalemate went on for a couple of minutes virtually in each other’s face before Astaphan returned to doing the interview.

The two, Astaphan and the officer, were later seen hugging each other, apparently in a mood of reconciliation.

Team Unity officials at the protest included head of the grouping Dr Timothy Harris, Shawn Richards, Eugene Hamilton, Lindsay Grant, Jonel Powell and Ian “Patches” Liburd.

Republished with permission of West Indies News Network
Reads: 1889

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