BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 25, 2017 (CMC) – Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, today, accused Opposition Leader, Dr. Denzil Douglas, of holding a Dominican diplomatic passport, and said his administration is moving to the High Court to get him expelled from the National Assembly.
Speaking at a news conference, here, Harris said that the government “is finalising an application to the High Court, seeking declarations that the Leader of the Opposition is no longer eligible to continue sitting as a representative in the National Assembly, and that he should, accordingly, be required to vacate his seat”.
Harris said that the issue had already been brought to the attention of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Michael Perkins, “given the importance of this for our democracy, our country, our people and its parliament”.
Douglas, who until February 2015, was the longest serving head of government in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), has, in the past, denied the allegation made by Harris, who at one time had served as his finance minister, but had been dismissed, prior to the general election.
Douglas had said then, that he “does not hold dual citizenship, has never held dual citizenship, does not hold and never held citizenship of Dominica or any other country, except that of St. Kitts and Nevis”.
But Prime Minister Harris told reporters that Douglas had a diplomatic passport with the number “DP0000462 issued by the government of Dominica on 30th of July 2015, and bearing the expiry date of the 29th February 2020”.
Harris said the passport has listed Douglas’s nationality as Dominican.
“Dr. Denzil Douglas was not a passive holder of this diplomatic passport. He has used it on several of his foreign trips in the Caribbean and beyond. The people of this country call upon Dr. Denzil Douglas to tell the full and unvarnished truth of his standing with the government of Dominica.
“Is he a paid diplomat? And if yes, how much is he being paid, and how many visits, if any, has he accompanied officials of Dominica or represented the government of Dominica? Will Douglas put personal …and self-interest above his duty as a Member of Parliament and as the Leader of the Opposition of St. Kitts and Nevis?
Harris said the Opposition Leader should also inform the nation whether or not he has been “promoting, marketing and soliciting development projects on behalf of Dominica and any other country, for that matter, at the expense of St. Kitts-Nevis, the country that he is pining to lead again”.
He also wondered whether Douglas had offered the database of the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), though which foreign nationals are granted citizenship in return for making a significant investment in the socio-economic development of the twin island federation, to any other country.
Harris said that these questions were important enough for an answer to be forthcoming to the nation, which Douglas “must feel obliged” to answer truthfully.
The prime minister argued that the constitution is very clear on measures, indicating the conditions under which persons are elected to serve in the National Assembly.