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Brantley not pleased with response to ultimatum

By: Staff Reporter,

States that Dr. Harris does not command majority support in Parliament

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - LEADER of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Mark Brantley has reassured public servants that all is well with their jobs at the moment, as more pressure is being applied to Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris to take onboard the recommendations put forward by his coalition partners. The bickering within the coalition Government has reached its highest level yet, with two of the three partners writing to the Governor General indicating that the Prime Minister and Leader of the People’s Labour Party (PLP) has lost the majority support of the Cabinet. “...we have activated other measures and I am advised that communication has been sent to His Excellency, the Governor General indicating the position that we currently hold, that the Honourable Timothy Harris does not command the majority support of the elected members of the National Assembly,” Brantley disclosed.

He added: “It is now for the GG, His Excellency, to act. We believe that based on legal advice that we have taken that he does in fact have the authority to act, and therefore we have invited him to do so.” That comes after weeks of infighting within the Government that made its way into the public’s domain.

Consequently, the two coalition partners had given Dr. Harris an ultimatum to respond to their request by yesterday (Apr. 20) so as to prevent the disintegration of Team Unity.

They were hopeful of addressing lingering issues that were not resolved at last week’s second meeting of the Leaders of the People’s Action Movement (PAM, CCM and the PLP). While speaking on Freedom FM 106.5 this afternoon (Apr. 21), Premier Brantley revealed that the response to the ultimatum was one in “futility”, as the response was an 18-page document that was received at 1:51 a.m.Thursday with a Wednesday deadline.

“...because having looked at the response in those 18 pages, there were no indications that the Honourable Prime Minister was minded to consider, far less to compromise in relation to the various matters that were raised,”added Brantley. The PAM and CCM representatives took to the former Party’s Convention last month and heavily criticised the Prime Minister, using strong terms for what they alleged is him not sticking to the Charlestown Accord - an agreement signed ahead of the 2015 General Elections. That document articulates the agreements, positions and compromises that governs the coalition: they agreed to, among other things, share proceeds from the Citizenship By Investment programme equitably, parties will not run representatives in the established constituencies where one party already has a representative, and no Leader will serve more than two terms. Alleged breaches by the Leader of the PLP had angered those from the PAM and CCM, prompting the latest move. “And so, on none of the issues that we raised since the 6th of April was there any response that we can look at and say that this would form the basis for some meaningful discussion,” Brantley said. Since that announcement, some people had argued that the position taken by the two parties might not be correct, as they pointed to the Constitution saying that a sitting Prime Minister could be removed by a Motion of No Confidence, which has to go through the Parliament and be voted upon. But the Premier is adamant that they have taken the right steps to have the Prime Minister removed. He indicated that a statement would be issued on the position taken by the two parties and their representatives. Meanwhile, word circulated in the Federation that the majority of Government Minister had tendered their resignation. But Brantley stated while all options were on the table, he was not aware that any Minister had vacated their position.

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