Nearly three years after his appointment as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly, Dr. Denzil Douglas has revealed that Prime Minister Timothy Harris is refusing to release funds for the opposition’s office.
The prime minister has also refused his former parliamentary friend a diplomatic passport – despite the fact that Douglas was prime minister of the country for nearly 20 years.
Speaking on his weekly radio show, Douglas said: “Dr. Harris believes that his attempt to spite the Leader of the Opposition by disrespecting him, failing to release funding for his office as required by law and refusing him the use of a diplomatic passport are reasonable courses of action in a modern St. Kitts and Nevis.
Dr. Douglas, who personally funds an office, also told listeners that when he served as prime minister from 1995 to 2015, he ensured that his predecessor Sir Kennedy Simmonds and his wife Lady Mary Simmonds were both afforded diplomatic passports “because it was the right thing to do despite our political differences.”
It was on the recommendation of Prime Minister Douglas that in 2004, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the honour of Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George on Sir Kennedy Simmonds.
Playing games with his power
Dr. Harris has also refused to provide diplomatic passports to the other members of the opposition in the National Assembly.
“Can anyone change the course of history? Dr. Simmonds served our country as Prime Minister, and that fact cannot ever be changed. Prime Minister Harris, like a jealous little child is irate that my colleague Caribbean leaders have reached out to accommodate me with diplomatic status as a former Prime Minister and Caribbean Leader. However, I, Dr. Denzil Llewellyn Douglas, will never ever accept the citizenship of any other country. Full stop!” said Dr. Douglas.
He said the issue of him being a citizen of another country is a “red herring that the Prime Minister has raised, will not make the people of this country lose sight of the fact that he continues to fail the people of this country miserably while looking after himself and his family only.”
He reiterated an earlier statement of having served as Prime Minister for nearly 20 years and served in the Parliament since 1989.
“I have never held and will never ever hold the citizenship of any other country except the one in which I was born and the one to which I have committed my life for service. Prime Minister Harris is a vindictive and treacherous coward who has little respect for the office that he holds and for the people in whose trust he serves. His mission is to enrich himself as quickly as possible then leave for Canada, a country in which he has acquired permanent residency,” said Dr. Douglas.
“While he savages our Citizenship by Investment Programme, reducing the price by 50% to US$150,000 for four passports, destroying the Real Estate sector in the process and putting construction workers and retailers out of an opportunity to prosper, he and his members have established a business for the Financial Contribution option of the CIP,” continued Dr. Douglas, further stating that Prime Minister Harris “has also placed these same family members to manage and oversee the two banks in our country that the Government controls and through which he will pass his millions.”
“He does not care that all of our major development projects are now at a standstill, that unemployment is on a rapid rise and that the growth trajectory for our economy is now set on a steep downward path. He simply does not care. So long as he and his family continue to fatten themselves in office, he remains at ease in all of this decay, backwardness and corruption,” said Dr. Douglas.
He noted that several members of the Prime Minister’s family have boasted that by the time Harris is out of government, they would all be multimillionaires at taxpayers’ expense.
“Our Prime Minister seems to be unable to help himself as he lies to the citizens of this country. He fails to come clean every time. The truth is, he has reduced the price of our passports because he has destroyed the CIP, and in a last ditch effort to create a slush fund for himself and his family before the ultimate death of the programme and has come to you as a beguiling serpent. And to make matters worse, this watered-down CIP initiative has not been ratified by Parliament and it raises legitimate questions as to the validity of the citizenship and the passport that will be derived from it,’ Dr. Douglas told listeners.
He reiterated his call for Prime Minister Harris to stop his destruction of the CIP and the Real Estate sector.
“I call upon him to take stock and have the Parliament approve and ratify any CIP initiative. I call upon him to place all revenue receipts from the SIDF and similar programmes into the Consolidated Fund as he promised in his election campaign, and not in an unregulated agency run out of the Office of the Prime Minister,” said the former prime minister.