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Deputy PM says the people hold the power to change country's leadership

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Condor

Basseterre, St. Kitts (WINN):  Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Condor, says the country is being mismanaged to the point where the civil service has become ‘dysfunctional.’

“The country must know exactly what’s happening…this cannot continue,” he said speaking to WINN FM’s Voices Host Ian “Patches” Liburd on Friday about the Prime Minister once again making major Foreign Affairs decisions, without his consultation.

Some months ago, the Deputy Prime Minister went public with his concerns that the Prime Minister had finalized an agreement to establish a consulate in Dubai, had appointed a Counsel General and had taken Minister Condor’s Permanent Secretary on a visit to Dubai, all without his consultation.

Friday Minister Condor confirmed that he had once again learned from his Permanent Secretary by memo that he had been selected by the Prime Minister to be part of the delegation journeying to Dubai for the opening of the consulate, slated for Saturday.

“This flies in the face of all good governance, and in fact, that is a problem that we’re having in this country at the present time.  It’s not only to do with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; this isn’t to do specifically with now, but in terms of the general Civil Service.  The Civil Service has become dysfunctional because of the way it is being managed and operated.  It is a total violation of the Constitution and the function of Ministers.” 

The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that he had no issue with St. Kitts and Nevis establishing diplomatic relations with Dubai, his concern was over the way it had been handled.

He said felt it important to let the public know what was going on inside the Government.

“Sam Condor does not have any power.  The power is in the hands of the people, and that is why my job is to convince the majority of Kittitians and Nevisians that what’s happening is wrong, and to make a change.  The power lies with the people.  That’s where I get my power from, so it isn’t with me.  It lies with the people, and I must get the people’s support to do anything that I want to do.”

He dismissed calls that he should resign from office if he was dissatisfied with the way the Prime Minister was governing.

 “I will not just resign for resigning’s sake.  I want to make a contribution to my country and I want to do what is right.  I want to be on the right side of history.”

He made it clear that he was not calling for any sort of overthrow of the Government.

“I’m not supportive of any coup.  A coup of any kind.  Because a coup is not a good thing, because coup breeds coup.  Violence breeds violence.  I don’t want to do down that path.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said that there were a number of coups taking place in the country.

“We have a coup taking place in the Labour Party where co-opted members are brought in as deputies and really undermining the authority of elected members.  We have a coup in Cabinet where Senators, non-elected persons, are being brought into the Cabinet and undermining the authority of elected persons, and now we have a coup that could probably take place in Parliament with this additional Senators where…two thirds of the Parliament will be made up of non-elected people, undermining again the democratic process.  So these are a number of coups taking place and I’m against those coups in the same way that I’m way that I’m against any coup,” the Deputy Prime Minister asserted.

“I believe it must be done by the proper rules, by proper and constitutional and democratic means.  I’m not interested in coup,” he reiterated.

The Senators (Increasing of Number) Bill, 2012 which had its first reading in Parliament last week seeks to add two members appointed to the Government side, and one to the Opposition.  

The rationale given for the increase is that the workload of government ministers is increasing, and it would also provide an opportunity to address the gender imbalance in the National Assembly.  There is currently only one female Member of Parliament.

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