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Opposition MP Eugene Hamilton

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN):  Deputy Leader of the People’s Action Movement Opposition MP Eugene Hamilton does not believe that the Court Challenge to the delay in tabling of a Motion of No Confidence, should be withdrawn.

"The conduct of the Parliament and the spoken word of Dr Denzil Douglas suggest that they are flaunting, they are frowning upon our Constitution and violating our constitutional rights," Mr. Hamilton said during an interview with WINN FM this week.

"When anyone violates our constitutional rights the way to get the matter resolved is the court.  That is what the court is for, it is to determine if your constitutional right is being violated... no government can determine that...and so for those that think that we have to withdraw the motion, to be able to pander to an illegitimate prime minister, I say they should think again."

The four elected Members of the Federal Opposition and two former government Ministers MPs Sam Condor and Timothy Harris, have filed a case in court arguing that their constitutional rights are being violated by the Motion - filed last December - not being tabled.

The Prime Minister and his supporters insist that because a matter pertaining to the Motion is before the Court, it cannot be presented to the House for debate.  

Some have suggested that the court matter be withdraw, thereby removing the rationale being used by the Government not to facilitate the tabling of Motion.

But speaking to WINN FM on Wednesday Hamilton said, there’s a bigger picture

"Let’s look at it this way, they say to withdraw the matter from the court and so you end up in Parliament and so the Prime Minister adjourns Parliament, or...prorogues Parliament or dissolves Parliament and the question is never answered whether our constitutional rights have been violated," Hamilton explained.

"People seem to think it’s all about whether the motion is heard or not heard. There is a fundamental question not being answered is our constitutional right being violated by the conduct of the Parliament and the Prime Minister, and you cannot leave that question unanswered because it means that years from now somebody will look to St Kitts as the example to do the same thing in another Commonwealth country or maybe here in St Kitts again."

The Constitutional challenge has become bogged down in related court actions: including the filing and later withdrawal of an injunction to stop any matter but the Budget coming to the House before the Motion, an application from the respondents challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter and an application to strike the matter altogether.

The jurisdiction and strike arguments are slated to be heard in mid July, with the originating constitutional matter to be slated for some time after, depending on the outcome of those hearings.

Other Opposition MPs and political candidates including the Leader of the Opposition Mark Brantley have said withdrawing the constitutional challenge could be a consideration, but they have indicated that they do not think it would result in the Motion being tabled.

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Toni Frederick
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