(Photo Caption: A section of the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party supporters and representatives during the march held on Friday.)
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (SKNLPCU) – Former St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has blasted the Timothy Harris led PLP/CCM/PAM Government warning he will bring thousands of party supporters on the streets to being an end to several undemocratic practices.
Speaking after a successful protest demonstration on Friday Dr Douglas, Political leader of the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party said despite the attempts by Harris to prevent this march from taking place, “we are here addressing thousands at the West Bus terminal.”
“We marched against victimsation where over 200 public servants who supported the Labour Party have been dismissed or demoted. This is not good governance practice that is not democracy. We marched against victimsation and we said if it does not come to an end we will put again thousands of people on the streets until the government listens to us,” said Dr. Douglas, who’s Labour Party, despite losing the February 16th 2015 general election is the most popular.
Dr. Douglas told the large gathering that the march was against rampant nepotism “where the proceeds of government are being used to enrich family members and close relatives.”
“Harris is guilty of practicing nepotism. His family has been positioned in big jobs. They (Team Unity) were talking about fair share – fair share for Harris and his family. A government must be for all of the people. Today we are seeing only certain families in this country are benefitting,” said Dr. Douglas.
He said the march also protested the incompetence of the Team Unity government and blasted the government for informing the country of improved healthcare and boasted about bringing in an MRI machine.
“You would have thought that the MRI machine is up at the J.N. France General Hospital, Do you know where it is? It is over at a monkey farm. Imagine they want you to go and lie down in the machines that monkeys lie down in,” said Dr. Douglas, who added that the protest march was also against the high level of criminal activity taking place in St. Kitts and Nevis with 40 murders including businessmen, in the first 12 months of the Timothy Harris administration.
“We say to (Prime Minister) Harris, never in the history of this country, never had we a Police High Command and a police commissioner on probation,” said Dr. Douglas, who pointed out that in his near 20 years as Prime Minister he has recommended five commissioners of police and none was on probation.
“Harris is not serious and that is why we marched against crime and it is as a result of his actions he has undermined confidence in the Commissioner of Police by the rank and file and we believe criminal activity is going to increase. We need to instill confidence in the police high command and it cannot be instilled if the entire Police High Command is on probation. They will be looking at each other. They will undermine each other while looking out for their jobs,” said Dr. Douglas.
He said the march was also against skyrocketing unemployment with the dismissals of civil servants and persons on the People Employment Programme (PEP), closure of some construction projects and the ending of the REACH programme which has seen close to 500 students abandoning the opportunity to further their education at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) and the Nevis Sixth Form at the Charlestown Secondary School.
“We marched in solidarity with our students. They were been assisted by the Labour Government. Their parents never had it so hard. Fourteen hundred students were registerdd last September, today only 900 are attending classes. They donot have the money and the parents cannot help them. We marched for the reinstatement of the REACH programme to our students. We marched for the students and we say thigs are not better for them,” said Dr. Douglas to the large crowd.
Referring to the chant that ‘Harris Must Go’ and “We want back the Government that we had before,’ the former prime minister accused Prime Minister Harris of deliberately scheduling a meeting of the National Assembly and organizing a Peace Concert as distractions.