Second reading of the Tenure of Office of Prime Minister bill to be tabled at next sitting of the National Assembly

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, September 25, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Dr. Timothy Harris-led Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will seek to further advance its good governance agenda when it brings the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis (Tenure of Office of Prime Minister) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for its second reading at the next sitting of the National Assembly in October.

Essentially, the main objective of the Bill is to make an amendment of Section 52 (2) of the Constitution. With the amendment, “a Representative shall not hold office as Prime Minister for more than two terms, whether or not served consecutively.”

The Dr.  Harris-led administration has long contended that a legislation of this nature would only serve to strengthen democracy within the twin island Federation and would bring St. Kitts and Nevis in line with the practices of many jurisdictions globally where there is already legislated term limits for Heads of Government.

It is also the hope that the passing of this piece of legislation will lessen the likelihood of corruption that may arise during prolonged periods in office, as well as promote fresh ideas on governance by younger leaders.

The second reading of the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis (Tenure of Office of Prime Minister) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will come fresh on the heels of the passing of the landmark Motion of No Confidence Bill, 2019 on Friday, September 20.

The Government is keeping faith on some of the major elements of the good governance agenda promoted in the run-up to the 2015 election when the public had clearly lost confidence in the arrogant and corrupt Douglas administration.

For the last 26 months of the Douglas administration, they refused to allow the Motion of No Confidence to be debated in the parliament. Regional and international personalities condemned the efforts of the Douglas regime in undermining democracy.

In the words of former Chief Justice Sir Brian Alleyne, “The parliament under Douglas had been reduced to a useless instrument.”

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