“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” — Thomas Edison
There is no denying the fact, like every one of us, Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves wants to be remembered in a positive light. As a result, he is doing all in his power to build a positive legacy, for which he will be admired, loved and remembered. Unfortunately for Gonsalves and his legacy, it seems that nothing is working for him as far as his legacy is concerned. Everything he says and does seems to fall apart and/or backfire. The reason for Gonsalves consistent failure is: he cannot be trusted to do what is right, ethical, legal and or moral. As a result of this simple fact, his mental state, his spoken words and his actions are direct blights on his legacy. According to the teaching of the Bible, Ralph E. Gonsalves is curse by his own doing.
Gonsalves had a perfect opportunity to paint a bright spot on his dismal legacy, but, unfortunately, and once again, he forfeited yet another opportunity. Here we have a prime minister in the person of Ralph E. Gonsalves who cannot be trusted to do what is right. It is so unfortunate that he cannot be counted on to take even the slightest decision because it is the moral, good or because it is simple the right thing to do. As a result, his legacy is coloured with allegation of rape, allegations of inappropriate administrative practice, allegations of unethical behaviour and a range of other criminal and immoral complaint that are being levied against his character daily.
An opportunity missed: a case in point
Here we have a situation where the democratic process and the constitutional right of the citizen of St. Kitts Nevis (SKN), are being flagrantly violated and flaunted to the whole world by a rogue Prime Minister in the person of Denzil Douglas. Denzil Douglas has avariciously and illegally hold on to the reins of the Government of St. Kitts Nevis by curtailing and circumventing the lawful parliamentary process; even though he has five of the 11 seats in the St. Kitts and Nevis Parliament and there is a coalition group of six constitutionally elected representative, who have bind themselves together as Team Unity and have exhausted all lawful and constitutionally outlined steps, for the recognition of the group as the majority political entity in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Some 15 months ago, Team Unity acted in compliance to parliamentary procedures and took the necessary steps to file a motion of no confidence against the rogue Prime Minister Denzil Douglas and his administration; unfortunately, even after a court ruling and other efforts, Team Unity is still on the outside looking in with no resolution to the parliamentary impasse in St. Kitts and Nevis in sight.
Although CARICOM has no lawful Jurisdiction over what is happening in St. Kitts and Nevis, they have some power and they should use their limited power to ensure the parliamentary stalemate that exists in St. Kitts and Nevis is resolved. Apart from taking a joint decision to make a united public statement against the Denzil Douglas unlawful regime and demand that rogue PM Douglas facilitates a speedy resolution to the parliamentary impasse; there is also the issue of public threats and the implementation of political, economic and other sanctions. These are all lawful tool that is available to CARICOM to resolve such problems.
We all know that each member state of CARICOM must meet and maintain certain criteria other than their geographical location in order to become and maintain their membership in CARICOM. As far as it currently stands, St. Kitts and Nevis is in violation of its rights to sit at the table of CARICOM and participate in the affairs of this group, the reason being, the country’s affairs are being administered by an unconstitutionally comprised government. Denzil Douglas does not have the lawful or moral rights to represent the people of the twin island state as prime minister in any forum within or outside of St. Kitts Nevis.
Here we have the current sitting chairperson of CARICOM Ralph Gonsalves, a lawyer by training and practice as well as a politician for most of his life. Yet he allowed a rogue administrator to sit in the CARICOM heads of government meeting, under his chairmanship and participate with full rights as those who are in good and regular standing with the rules of CARICOM.
This act of chair-foolery is one to be frowned upon and must be dealt with, with the highest level of intellectual outrage. It would not have been so appalling, if the sitting chair did not have the law background and years of parliamentary experience as Gonsalves does.
Unfortunately for me, I am now suffering from some self-imposed confusion and I am being overwhelmed with a series of rhetorical questions, which are:
• Is this, the same Ralph Gonsalves, who interfered in the Dominican Republic-Haiti immigration problem and tried to use CARICOM as a whipping stick to bully the Dominica Republic government into making decisions and taking actions that can be devastating to their economy?
• Is this the same Gonsalves, who as Chairman of CARICOM, in the sitting of CARICOM that was held on the March 10 and the 11, 2014, decided that they are going to make a statement urging Guyana to pass the anti-money laundering legislation?
• Is this the same Gonsalves who built his political campaign and won a general election on integrity legislation?
•Gonsalves where is your integrity that will allow you to do what is right in your capacity of Chairman of CARICOM to bring a speedy resolution to the parliamentary impasse that currently exist in St. Kitts and Nevis?
•Is this the same Ralph Gonsalves who in the year 2000 […] benefited as a result of CARICOM intervention (he became prime minister) into the social-political impasse that he created?
I am truly sorry for Ralph Gonsalves, for as a legal mind who have been practicing law for most of his life and as a politician for many decades, he did not have the presence of mind, the legal or political common sense to know that Denzil Douglas’ government is unconstitutionally comprised and as such, CARICOM is within its power to deny him a seat at the table and the body is within its rights to take action against St. Kitts Nevis until there is a constitutionally sound and legal resolution to the present parliamentary impasse that exist in that small twin island federation.
By Allan H. Palmer
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].