ST. KITTS CABINET REVOLT

Prime Minister Denzil Douglas.

Tired of what they call the increasing dictatorship of St.Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, a group of six MPs, including members of his own party and government, now say they are ready to get rid of the long-term leader.

Internal opposition to the four-term prime minister’s leadership had been simmering for months before it boiled over into open rebellion in recent weeks when Dr. Douglas, 60, one of the Caribbean Community’s longest serving prime ministers, fired his long-term deputy and close friend, Sam Condor and senior minister Timothy Harris from key cabinet and party positions, blaming them for leading protracted efforts to implode his government.

Meanwhile Condor and Harris, along with opposition legislators and an MP from Nevis say they are ready to form a new unity government that would end decades of traditional partisan politics in the federation of about 52,000 people near Antigua, and run its affairs without Douglas at the helm.

Now holding the majority of seats in the legislature, the six have written to Governor General Sir Edmund Wickham informing him that they are a united slate and should be recognized as the elected majority in the St.Kitts and Nevis Parliament.

The crisis has hung like a dark cloud over island affairs, especially in St. Kitts where the seat of the federation’s government is located. Groups ranging from the Chamber of Commerce to the church have asked for a quick resolution to the problem even as the six boycotted the presentation of the 2013 budget in parliament in the past week.

“We are part of the federation and we are responsible as the people’s representatives to participate in any action which will serve the interest of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, Harris said, explaining that while he and the others from the opposition have had bitter rivalries in the past, they were always viewed as “opponents worthy of respect,” so it should not be that difficult for legislators from different sides to come together and try to form a unity government.

Condor shared similar sentiments saying that forming a patriotic front government should be very easy.

“Being part of a unity government is not a problem for me and I believe it is something that the country is demanding. I think the time has come for us to move away from the divisive and destructive politics and to come together,” he said.

So far, the governor general has not acted on the request by the now majority to form the government. Douglas, however, went ahead with his budget presentation despite a half-empty Cchamber, noting that “even with the challenges confronting us, this budget is designed to sustain government’s role in stimulating and facilitating growth in meaningful partnership with the private sector.”

But even as the uncertainty remains, Harris in the past week said he is beginning to fear for his security as he has been the victim of several threats in recent days.

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