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St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Observers say he has a hard time dealing with criticism leveled at the Team Unity administration.

And his critics suggest that they are often attacked verbally on the Town Hall/political platform by Prime Minister Timothy Harris because they dare to speak out.

However a government release quoted Dr Harris this week as saying that the constructive criticism of all is welcomed in the interest of national development.

Known Team Unity supporter Dwyer Astaphan of Operation Rescue has emerged over the past two years as one of the persistent critics of the Harris-led three party coalition government.

Astaphan was at it again this week on his organization’s radio programme Tuesday (Feb 28), reiterating his appeal for the administration to, as he puts it, get its priorities right.

“Remember I said like their predecessors, they won’t deserve to be there if they don’t prioritize these physical infrastructural priorities, water safety, sewage, tops soil management, food safety and security, environmental protection, health and education, everything follows from those. After all a properly focused and efficient administration takes cares of these things, the vital physical infrastructure, and the vital governance infrastructure. These are the priorities and we shouldn’t be having this conversation into the third year of an administration, we should have been seeing concrete signs of these things already.”

The Operation Rescue official also made reference to the kind of responses his earlier aired suggestions to the government have met with.

“Let them go and say as much as they want on the platform about they don’t need Operation Rescue, let them try to discredit me and others as much as they like, this is not for me personally but if they want it to be personal we can do that too you know. My interest is the country, and the two most important priorities in this country are those quintessential physical infrastructural elements that need to be addressed and the governance infrastructural element that need to be addressed. Those are the pillars upon which the progress and prosperity that they speak about must be built, nothing else, none of the jargon and rhetoric, none of those other things, they mean nothing.”

Dwyer Astaphan appears to be of the view that his previous calls for prioritizing good governance issues including integrity in public life legislation and a freedom of information act have not been received as constructive criticism by the government.

Prime Minister Harris is meanwhile quoted by government media as saying that his pledge as the country’s prime minister is that he will always remain humble, available and accessible, to all citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis. 

Dr Harris says “I cherish your advice, your constructive criticism and I say come play a role, help us make St. Kitts and Nevis the best small island state in the world."



Ken Richards
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