Jamaica’s Shaw has a lesson for former senior minister Dr. Timothy Harris

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas addresses a massive jubilant crowd on January 11th 2010, a day after his Labour Party won the general election. (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 16TH 2013 (CUOPM) – The man who wants to be the next Political Leader of the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and next prime minister if successful at the next poll, is using the party mechanism to achieve that goal unlike Dr. Timothy Harris, the former chairman of the governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party who demanded that he be named the next Prime Minister.

CMC News in a report from Kingston, the Jamaica capital said the JLP will be faced with a leadership challenge for the first time in decades, as Deputy Leader Audley Shaw on Sunday announced that he will be entering the race for leadership against JLP leader and former prime minister, Andrew Holness.

After weeks of speculation, Shaw, in a live broadcast late Sunday revealed that he will mount a formal campaign on September 29.

“I have now come to the decision that I will allow my name to be entered into nomination for the post of leader of this great 70 year old movement … if it is God’s will and the choice of the delegates that I am to lead this great party, I will do my best to be worthy of your trust and confidence” he said in a live broadcast.

According to Shaw, at the launch of his formal campaign he will share details of the plans to rebuild the party “along with the policy framework and vision that will guide us into the next general elections when we form the next government.”

In August, Shaw announced his intention to challenge Andrew Holness – a former Prime Minister for the leadership of the party. After advising Holness and other party officials, the former Finance Minister embarked on an island wide consultation.

But that was not the case in St. Kitts and Nevis where Dr. Harris instead of challenging the right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, the Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party on the conference floor, walked into the Office of the Prime Minister and demanded that Dr. Douglas resign “now” and appoints him or someone else as Prime Minister.

Sacked senior minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris participating in a protest march of the People’s Action Movement. (PAM). Photo by Livingston Huggins

“Some members believe that because the Government has been going through a somewhat challenging time; they would wish to bring the country into a state of crisis, which will not happen,” said Dr. Douglas during a debate to increase the number of senators in the lawmaking body.

“Some people have come to think that this is their most opportune time in becoming the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis. I say further that if what I said before were allegations, what I have been told myself, is not an allegation because I have been told by the Member (Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris), facing me in my office, that I must step down as the Prime Minister and give it to him or one of my other colleagues,” Dr. Douglas told the National Assembly.

Getting up on a Point of Order, Dr. Harris, although suggesting that Prime Minister Douglas and Member for St. Christopher 6 “is misleading the house deliberately and calculatedly,” then admitted:

“I told the Member for #6 (PM Douglas) that he should resign because he had brought the country into a state of crisis and I went on to say to the Honourable Member; He asked me what are the options. The options are quite clear when you bring the country into a state of crisis, you resign or you call a general elections; that is what I said to the Honourable Member for #6. I was careful not to mention who; I said you must resign, because you had brought the country into a state of crisis or you can call a general election.”

Dr. Douglas insisted there was Cabinet approval and agreement that all would support the Senators Bill 12 months ago to ensure that there is a Deputy Speaker and again accused his former minister of using the opportunity to “bring the life of the Government to an end by asking me to resign. And I have refused.”

Dr. Harris responded: “Again the Honourable Member is continuing down a path. By asking the member for #6 (Hon. Prime Minister) to resign does not bring the life of the Government to the end.”

But the Prime Minister again insisted that Dr. Harris asked him on in his office on Monday the 10th day of December to resign, to which Dr. Harris responded: “What is wrong with that, I don’t know.”

Dr. Harris, who was fired from the Cabinet in January this year has since left the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and formed his own political group and is in an alliance with the People’s Action Movement which attempted to overthrow the lawfully elected Labour Government of the Rt. Excellent Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw on June 10, 1967.

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