Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace, left, and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photos)

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves asking him to lobby his CARICOM colleagues into intervening to resolve the political situation in St. Kitts and Nevis.

The Dr. Denzil Douglas government in Basseterre has moved to present a boundaries commission report even as opposition lawmakers have failed to debate in Parliament a no confidence motion they tabled last December.

“This state of affairs is patently unacceptable,” Eustace said in his letter to Gonsalves.

Six of the 11 lawmakers in Basseterre who qualify to vote on the motion support it, but the government says the constitution does not set a timeframe for the debate of such motions.

The continuing impasse has seen opposition lawmakers filing a case against the government then withdrawing it after the speaker said the motion could not be debated because of the pending legal process.

But when opposition lawmakers applied to discontinue the case, the government objected, saying there are important matters to be ventilated in the court.

Read also: Eustace pledges to help seek resolution to impasse in St. Kitts

Gonsalves is among CARICOM leaders to whom the opposition in Basseterre has written, as they seek the help of the regional bloc to resolve the impasse.

He told reporters in Kingstown last week that he prefers not to intervene in “a contentious matter in St. Kitts and Nevis” and referred a local television station to those comments again on Monday.

But Eustace in his letter on Monday said Gonsalves is a beneficiary of such intervention by CARICOM.

He noted that in 2000, when Gonsalves was in opposition and there was political unrest in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, CARICOM brokered the deal that resulted in the March 2001 general elections, which Gonsalves won.

“Given your own experience in this regard, it is incumbent upon you and the other CARICOM heads of Government to intervene so as to broker a resolution to the Kittitian parliamentary deadlock,” Eustace said in his letter.

“I leave it to you as Prime Minister of a CARICOM member state that was the recipient of such regional intervention, to issue this call to regional heads,” he further said.

“I shall today call upon other CARICOM Opposition Leaders and regional NGOs to let their voices be heard on this matter,” Eustace said in the letter, which was copied to Prime Minister Douglas, CARICOM heads of government and opposition leaders, the CARICOM Secretary General, the OECS Secretary General, and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Eustace said his feelings about “the unfolding political travesty in St. Kitts and Nevis” are made worse by “the deafening silence of Caribbean leaders in reply”.

“Are the Governments of our region unable to intervene collectively in this issue, fearful that any intervention will be construed as an interference in the internal affairs of another state?

“This I reject. We are a region — the CARICOM region. The unambiguous trajectory of our movement is not simply a single economic space but a single political space too. We are viewed by our people and internationally as a region, a democratic region with a strong parliamentary tradition. …

“Do we ignore the voices of a majority of elected Members of Parliament and therefore perhaps a majority of Kittitians they represent? Do we ignore too the Chamber of Commerce, and the other civil society stakeholders I am informed have demonstrated their grave concern about the parliamentary stand-off?” Eustace said.

He further said that while the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas — which established CARICOM — was celebrated with much fanfare and camaraderie in Trinidad and Tobago last month, “The white elephant in the resplendent hall was the St. Kitts and Nevis situation.”

3 replies on “Eustace wants Gonsalves to lobby CARICOM to intervene in St. Kitts”

    1. Mr Eustace wants to USE the PM when it suits his purpose. Why dont he open the same mouth he uses to “bash” Ralph with everyday to lobby Caricom.

  1. Teacherfang (@Llijame) says:

    Its one thing for Eustace to shed light on this issue but its another thing for CARICOM OR ANY REGIONAL LEADER TO BE INTERFERING WITH THE INTERNAL MATTERS OF A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY. Dr Douglas truly deserves a bulwood for his handling of this issue, but its not our place to administer that bulwood, its the people of SKN to do so, if they are so outraged as Eustace, apparently is.

    THIS IS NO BUSINESS OF CARICOM. WHEN CARICOM IS TRULY NEEDED TO DEFEND OUR BEST INTEREST ON THE WHOLE STAGE,THEY ARE OFTEN ACQUIESCENCE IN THE FACE OF RUTHLESS AND UNFORGIVING FOREIGN DIPLOMATS, LEAVING THE REGION FLOUNDERING IN THE ECONOMIC WILDERNESS.

    By the way CARICOM didn’t help “brokered” any deal leading to the 2001 elections…James Mitchell jumped ship and left Eustace to run a ground. This attempt to cover Mitchell’s arse is inexcusable. This is something I really detest Eustace for, always taking the high road, even when he is being repeatedly thrown under the bus by James Mitchell. James Mitchell punk’d the f;ck out and hand over the country to Gonsalves; cause Gonsalves showed the temerity to make the country ungovernable. I know, if it was a person like me in office…Gonsalves and company would have gotten THEIR ARSE BEATEN for THEIR reckless behavior. So this notion of CARICOM brokering deal is a load of crap…Mitchell showed no backbone to fight for what he believe in…and punk’d out under the guise of saving people lives..how noble…the police force was under your authority…Gonsalves and Julian and others should have been locked up and beaten for good measure. But I digress, where was I…oh this issue with SKN…I said my piece alread….lol

Comments are closed.