Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has not responded to a letter from opposition lawmakers in St. Kitts and Nevis regarding the political situation there.
Opposition legislators in the twin-island federation have failed to have debated in parliament a no confidence motion submitted since last December.
Six of that country’s lawmakers who qualify to vote on the motion support it.
Gonsalves told journalist this week that he understands that the lawmakers wrote all head in an attempt to have the issue become an agenda item at CARICOM and Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
“No, I haven’t responded to them. The truth is this, it didn’t come up in any formal way at CARICOM and it didn’t come up in any formal way at the OECS. But I have spoken to Denzil Douglas about it personally. But I wouldn’t tell you what I tell him,” he said at a press conference.
But when it was noted that the legislators wrote to Gonsalves, he responded, “They wrote to me, but they wrote to everybody because they wanted it to come up at CARICOM and they wanted it to come up at the OECS formally. It was never on the formal agenda.”
Gonsalves further said he did not want to “put my mouth in a contentious matter in St. Kitts.
“But I will tell you, the communication I receive was so long, it wasn’t focused — though at the end, having read it, I know what they were getting at,” Gonsalves said.
He said he was faced with “the problem” of the opposition in Basseterre having gone to court in an attempt to compel the speaker to call the parliament to have the motion heard.
“Now, from the time you do that, you take the issue out politics and put it in the hand of law,” said Gonsalves, who is also a lawyer.
He noted that while the opposition had filed for leave of discontinuance, the Denzil Douglas government had objected to the discontinuance.
He further noted that unlike the Vincentians Constitution, the one in St. Kitts and Nevis does not give the clerk of the house of assembly the power to summon the national assembly to debate a motion of no confidence.
“There are persons who may argue that the conventions would dictate that a no confidence motion be heard as swiftly as practicable but then the guys choose to go to court rather than fight the matter in a political sphere. So once you go into the court, you lock yourself into the procedures and the timetable of the court,” Gonsalves said.
“For instance, normally, when you seek leave to discontinue a matter, the other side would quickly agree. I understand that in St. Kitts that the government side is not agreeing to the discontinuance. They say there are important issues to be determined in a democracy by the court. You can take that anyhow you find it,” the prime minister further said.