Commonwealth cannot dictate members on domestic political issues, says SG

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 15TH 2013 (CUOPM) – The highest official in the 54-nation Commonwealth says he cannot dictate or advise member states on domestic political issues.

Commonwealth Secretary General, His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma was at the time responding to a question at a news conference following discussions with St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.

Asked what advice he would give or had given to the Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader, all of whom he met with during a visit to the Federation this week, the Commonwealth Secretary General said:

“These are Constitutional and Parliamentary processes which every member state has to work through themselves and find a resolution in the national interest. It is not for the Secretary General to be advising Member States on their own domestic political situations, which are better attempted by themselves through these processes.”

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and Deputy Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Mark Brantley has filed a motion of No Confidence in the Federal Government, but there are no guidelines in the Constitution or the Rules of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly that stipulate when the matter must be placed on the Order Paper and debated in the lawmaking body.

Mr. Brantley, a lawyer, and other opposition parliamentarians, have taken the matter to the High Court, effectively preventing the motion of no confidence from being placed on the Order Paper as it is now “sub judice.”

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