MPs and former ministers Marcella Liburd and Dr Denzil Douglas
BASSETERRE, St Kitts -- Former St Kitts and Nevis ministers in the Dr Denzil Douglas-led Labour/NRP administration are being called upon to return millions of dollars to the country’s treasury.
The renewed call has arisen as the intensity of debate increases on the streets and in traditional and social media regarding the conduct of government ministers with regard to their private business dealings and issues of conflict of Interest, Times Caribbean
Specific mention has been made of Douglas and former minister, now opposition MP Marcella Liburd and Nigel Carty. According to one blogger the former prime minister and now opposition leader Dr Denzil Douglas has to date acquired over $1million in rent from the Taiwanese government for the property that houses the official Taiwanese ambassador’s residence and a property in which Douglas has a partial beneficial if not significant or total interest.
The arrangement raises many questions including the circumstances surrounding the negotiation of the lease and whether the Taiwanese were pressured in any way to accept or pursue the arrangement with the then prime minister Douglas.
The blogger also alluded to the relationship between a number of statutory bodies and Bryant and Liburd, the law firm of Marcella Liburd. Bryant and Liburd, in which Liburd is a partner, served as the retained law firm for both the National Insurance as well as the Development Bank whilst she served as a government minister in the Douglas administration from 2010-2015.
The firm is said to have received some $4 million in legal fees from the government-owned institutions.
Douglas reportedly still receives a monthly rental from the Taiwanese official residence in downtown Basseterre.
Many citizens on social media in particular are calling for a full investigation into these matters and a return of monies to the treasury where necessary. The current administration has yet to officially respond to the call.