PAM Parliamentary Representative Eugene Hamilton fails in attempt to stop Town Hall meeting, takes microphone and walks out the Cayon Community Center with it
|Hon. Eugene Hamilton at the front of the Town Hall Meeting|
BASSETERRE, ST.KITTS, NOVEMBER 1ST 2012 (CUOPM) – Less than two hours after St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas warned that the security forces have information that attempts will be made by the Peoples Action Movement (PAM) to disrupt the proceedings, that Party’s Deputy Political Leader, the Hon. Eugene Hamilton said the meeting will end if he is not allowed to address the meeting and then walked out with the microphone.
Mr. Hamilton, who is also the PAM Parliamentary Representative for Cayon, where the meeting was held, was earlier welcomed by Prime Minister Douglas when he walked into the meeting and sat in an empty seat in the front row one hour after the meeting had begun.
Following presentations by Chairman of the Board of Directors of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, Mr. Linkon Maynard, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Prime Minister Douglas gracefully welcomed Mr. Hamilton to the meeting.
Dr. Douglas then opened the floor to persons for question time reminding persons that they should ask their questions”decently and respectfully and in a respectable manner. Respect others and respect yourselves.”
A young lady who had walked in with Mr. Hamilton, but stayed in the back of the room was told by Prime Minister Douglas to ask the first question.
She said that she had no question to ask but indicated that she prefer to “concede to my Parliamentary Representative, Mr. Eugene Hamilton.”
She walked to the front and gave the microphone to Mr. Hamilton.
Prime Minister Douglas had no problem with the young lady’s request and invited Mr. Hamilton to ask his question.
“Mr. Hamilton is asking a question, Let him ask his questions please,” said Dr. Douglas as he requested the audience to “simmer down.”
“No booing at all. Let the Hon. Member (Mr. Hamilton) ask his questions,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
|Hon. Eugene Hamilton walking out of the Town Hall Meeting with the microphone (Photos by Erasmus Williams)|
But Mr. Hamilton had other ideas and instead of asking a question began to make a statement and Prime Minister Douglas reminded him that it was time to ask his questions.
When it was pointed out to Mr. Hamilton that he would only be allowed to ask questions and abide by the rules that had been established for the meeting and would be allowed to ask his questions, Mr. Hamilton displayed arrogance and responsed:
“If I can’t address this (Town Hall Meeting), the meeting will end. If I cannot ask my question, the meeting will end” and with that Mr. Hamilton with the microphone in his hand walked out of the meeting.
The disrespectable behaviour by Hamilton was roundly condemned by several persons who expressed disappointment with his arrogance and disorderly behaviour.
After Mr. Hamilton left, even his own supporters some of whom walked out with him returned and asked questions in a respectful and orderly manner.
The behaviour of Mr. Hamilton was not surprising as earlier in the National Assembly Prime Minister said he was “aware that the opposition People’s Action Movement (PAM) have also been having s series of Town Hall Meetings on the same matter of the debt for land swap and the use of lands in the future for housing, for economic development and for agricultural purposes.”
Dr. Douglas told lawmakers and the Nation that as far as he is aware, “no one of the (St. Kits-Nevis) Labour Party has been attending those meetings. No one has been attempting to disrupt their meetings.”
He added: “We have very strong advice coming from the security forces that attempts are been made by persons of the People’s Action Movement to disrupt our Town Hall Meetings.”
“I want to use this opportunity to desist persons from attempting to instigate others to disrupt our meetings. I will not accept it and the security forces will not tolerate,”said Prime Minister Douglas.
He again extended an invitation to persons to attend Thursday night’s Town Hall Meeting organized by the Office of the Prime Minister in collaboration with the Ministries of Finance and Sustainable Development address issues related to debt restructuring and future land use for housing, agriculture and economic development.