Categorized | Regional

Opposition members stage Parliament walkout

St. Kitts – THREE members of the Opposition walked out of the House during Senator Richard ‘Ricky’ Skerritt’s presentation at yesterday’s (Nov. 25) sitting of the National Assembly.

The three People’s Action Movement’s parliamentarians, Hon. Shawn Richard, Hon. Eugene Hamilton and Senator Vincent Byron Jr., staged the walkout after Minister of Tourism Senator Skerritt accused the opposition of using the robbery of 17 tourists, who were on their way to visit the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park on November 14, to undermine the government.

“Mr. Speaker, over the past several days, while some of us on this side of the House were toiling long hours with international damage control and tourism business recovery, some on the opposition benches, along with a few of their angry, desperate and power-hungry allies, were creating and revelling in a local radio and social media frenzy with no regard whatsoever for the possible international repercussions of their words and actions.

“Mr. Speaker, though not completely surprising, it has indeed been disappointing and disgusting to observe the local political vultures scheming, swooping and openly feeding on the wounds of this incident including the misfortune of 17 of our international guests, and without regard for the ensuing loss of tourism income for hundreds of nationals and the risk of collapse of our tourism sector. I will say more about this unfortunate aspect of this incident at a more appropriate time,” Senator Skerritt said.

However, while making his presentation, Byron objected to Skerritt’s accusations but was told by the Speaker of the House, Hon. Curtis Martin, that “the Minister is making a statement…Hon. member allow him to finish his statement and then I’ll hear from you”.

Following this, the three members walked out of the House of Assembly.

Shortly after walking out of the House, Winn FM’s Jacqueline Bryan approached the three Opposition members and was told by Senator Byron that they were very incensed by the comments made by Skerritt. “Senator Skerritt, the Minister of Tourism, and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis would recall that on Sunday last there was a very tragic and very horrific incident at Brimstone Hill, when 17 tourists were waylaid.

“The first people to respond to such an action were the leader of the People’s Action Movement and member for Number Eight Mr. Hamilton. They went on the media on more than one occasion and condemned it. Today, in Parliament, the Minister is then saying that members on the Opposition benches revelled…were overjoyed that such an incident had happened. And by doing so, he was making a dastardly attack on the character of all of
us,” Byron said.

He noted that the rules of the House categorically states that no member should ascribe erroneous things or statements to another member that could cause people to react in a certain way. “It is very clear in the Standing Orders that no member of the National Assembly shall impute improper motives to any other member, and he was doing so. And when I objected the Speaker said that I could not object because the rules prevented me from doing so, and was basically saying that Senator Skerritt could impute improper motives to all of us and we have to wait until he is finished to respond. And we then said, well, by walking out we have laud our indignation and protest to that,” Byron explained.

At the completion of Senator Skerritt’s presentation, the three Opposition members returned to the House of National Assembly.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

St. Kitts – THREE members of the Opposition walked out of the House during Senator Richard ‘Ricky’ Skerritt’s presentation at yesterday’s (Nov. 25) sitting of the National Assembly.

The three People’s Action Movement’s parliamentarians, Hon. Shawn Richard, Hon. Eugene Hamilton and Senator Vincent Byron Jr., staged the walkout after Minister of Tourism Senator Skerritt accused the opposition of using the robbery of 17 tourists, who were on their way to visit the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park on November 14, to undermine the government.

“Mr. Speaker, over the past several days, while some of us on this side of the House were toiling long hours with international damage control and tourism business recovery, some on the opposition benches, along with a few of their angry, desperate and power-hungry allies, were creating and revelling in a local radio and social media frenzy with no regard whatsoever for the possible international repercussions of their words and actions.

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“Mr. Speaker, though not completely surprising, it has indeed been disappointing and disgusting to observe the local political vultures scheming, swooping and openly feeding on the wounds of this incident including the misfortune of 17 of our international guests, and without regard for the ensuing loss of tourism income for hundreds of nationals and the risk of collapse of our tourism sector. I will say more about this unfortunate aspect of this incident at a more appropriate time,” Senator Skerritt said.

However, while making his presentation, Byron objected to Skerritt’s accusations but was told by the Speaker of the House, Hon. Curtis Martin, that “the Minister is making a statement…Hon. member allow him to finish his statement and then I’ll hear from you”.

Following this, the three members walked out of the House of Assembly.

Shortly after walking out of the House, Winn FM’s Jacqueline Bryan approached the three Opposition members and was told by Senator Byron that they were very incensed by the comments made by Skerritt. “Senator Skerritt, the Minister of Tourism, and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis would recall that on Sunday last there was a very tragic and very horrific incident at Brimstone Hill, when 17 tourists were waylaid.

“The first people to respond to such an action were the leader of the People’s Action Movement and member for Number Eight Mr. Hamilton. They went on the media on more than one occasion and condemned it. Today, in Parliament, the Minister is then saying that members on the Opposition benches revelled…were overjoyed that such an incident had happened. And by doing so, he was making a dastardly attack on the character of all of
us,” Byron said.

He noted that the rules of the House categorically states that no member should ascribe erroneous things or statements to another member that could cause people to react in a certain way. “It is very clear in the Standing Orders that no member of the National Assembly shall impute improper motives to any other member, and he was doing so. And when I objected the Speaker said that I could not object because the rules prevented me from doing so, and was basically saying that Senator Skerritt could impute improper motives to all of us and we have to wait until he is finished to respond. And we then said, well, by walking out we have laud our indignation and protest to that,” Byron explained.

At the completion of Senator Skerritt’s presentation, the three Opposition members returned to the House of National Assembly.