St Kitts dissolves Parliament
Prime Minis-ter Dr Denzil Douglas on Friday announced that he had advised the Governor General to dissolve the Parliament with immediate effect.
Speaking from the steps of Government Headquar-ters on Church Street in Basseterre, Dr Douglas said that an election date would be announced at a later date.
This followed an emergency sitting which saw the passage of a resolution giving way for Governor-General Sir Edmund Lawrence to sign a Proclamation which would effect revised Electoral Boundaries whenever Parliament is dissolved.
This means that the highly anticipated 2015 St Kitts-Nevis General Elections will have revised Electoral Boundaries.
Speaking under the agenda item entitled “Motions” at an Emer-gency Sitting of the Assembly on Friday afternoon, Prime Minister Douglas stated, “the Pro-clamation speaks to the Boundaries as have been revised after several years and months of sitting of the Constituency Boundaries Commission.”
According to the Prime Minister, the Constitution, under Section 50, outlines the process that is to be followed to give effect to proposed revised Electoral Boundaries.
Prime Minister Douglas read the Draft Proclama-tion into the minutes of the Assembly.
Injunction granted to halt St Kitts-Nevis boundary changes
An injunction was granted by the High Court on Friday restraining the St Kitts and Nevis government from proclaiming constituency boundaries changes. Chris Hamel-Smith, the senior counsel representing the opposition, told WINN that the injunction was granted on Friday afternoon even as the government was moving to have the boundaries changed.
“The judge has issued an injunction restraining that proclamation from being made in order to stop the report from coming into effect,” Hamel-Smith told WINN.
“In layman’s terms it means that the judge has said things must not change until the court has an opportunity to look at the whole matter properly, and not under the unfair and undue pressure and haste that was created here this afternoon,” the senior counsel said.
However, government attorney Sylvester Anthony suggested that the injunction obtained by the opposition to stop the proclamation of the constituency boundary changes is of no effect, as he is not aware that an order has been served to the relevant parties.
Speaking Friday evening on Freedom Radio, Anthony suggested that whatever orders served by the court would be useless if the orders were not served before the proclamation of the boundary changes.
The matter is scheduled to be heard in the High Court next week, according to Hamel-Smith. Meanwhile, Senator Vincent Byron Jr. expressed outrage that he was not given proper notice of Friday’s emergency sitting of Parliament.
“It’s a mockery of any sort of democratic system what happened today,” said Byron.
He told WINN that he only received notice that Parliament was meeting at 4:15 p.m. when he left a Boundaries Commission meeting at 4:05 p.m. Friday.
After the resolution was passed by the government benches, at close to 6:15 p.m., Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas announced that he had advised the Governor General Sir Edmund Lawrence to dissolve Parliament with immediate effect and that an election date would be announced later. Elections will thus be held on re-aligned constituency boundaries, stated the Office of the Prime Minister.