(PRESS RELEASE) – In 1994, the Hon Timothy Harris, called then St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr the Right Hon Sir Kennedy Simmonds a “power hungry despot.”
Fast forward to Friday, 17th April, 2020, opposition Member of Parliament and deputy political leader of the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Hon Marcella Liburd labelled now Prime Minister Harris as “despotic.”
Liburd was at the time speaking on the floor of the National Assembly during the debate on a resolution presented to the law making body by Dr Harris imposing a six-month State of Emergency in St Kitts and Nevis.
“Come the 14th of May, the National Assembly must be dissolved, emergency or no emergency. Come the 11th of August, we must have the general elections. We must have those elections. All who want to stay in power after that, the people of this country must know that we do not want any despots to be running the country. People know that it is in times like these when governments have authority to restrict your rights, that the despots show themselves and what we are seeing here today is a despotic act to try to give themselves authority for 12 months past the 14th of May and past the 11th of August when the elections are due,” said Liburd.
In 1993, following the inconclusive November 1993 elections, Dr Simmonds was sworn in as prime minister of a minority government with five seats (four PAM and one NRP) on the government side and six seats (four Labour and two CCM) on the opposition benches.
In January 1994, Harris, the newly-elected St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party MP for St Christopher 7, issued a statement in which he spoke of his supporters’ “frustration and disgust at the travesty committed by the imposition of a minority, unpopular, vindictive, immoral, hateful, and shameless government.”
“You said quite clearly that “(Kennedy) Simmonds and PAM must go!” If Simmonds was not a power-hungry despot, he woud not place the peace and prosperity of our country at risk by holding on to power when an entire country has rejected him and his (PAM) party. I call on Simmonds to put the peace and prosperity of St Kitts first. It is in the interest of St Kitts-Nevis that elections be called now.”
On December 10, 2012, Dr Harris, a senior minister in the Cabinet of Prime Minister the Rt Hon Dr Denzil Douglas walked into the Office of the Prime Minister and demanded that Dr Douglas “resign immediately.”
Dr Harris had denied it, but during a January 2013 sitting of the National Assembly, Harris admitted: “I told the member for #6 (PM Douglas) that he should resign.”
A regional political analyst who has studied Caribbean politics has repeatedly said: “Dr Harris has not changed over the years. He is a dictator masking as an angel. Every ill names that Dr Harris has called his detractors and others over the years are basically a description at best of himself.
“Recall Dr Harris brought in this social scienctist, a Dr Sharon-Ann Gopaul-McNicol from Trinidad who hood-winked and wilfully misled the electorate that your charismatic Prime Minister Dr Douglas was ‘a galloping dictator.’ What have the people of St Kitts and Nevis have in Dr Harris? An entrenched dictator imposed on the people. A dangerous man who wants to hold on to power.” The analyst spoke on condition his name not be mentioned.