St Kitts: After 3 years, nation still waiting on PM Harris to clear the air on alleged unaccounted EC$10 million in campaign funds

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St Kitts: After 3 years, nation still waiting on PM Harris to clear the air on alleged unaccounted EC$10 million in campaign funds
First Executive of the PLP (left to right) - Clecton Phillip, Dr Timothy Harris, Ambassador Sam Condor, Venelma Hanley and Douglas Wattley. Dr Harris is the only person from the first executive on the present executive
First Executive of the PLP (left to right) – Clecton Phillip, Dr Timothy Harris, Ambassador Sam Condor, Venelma Hanley and Douglas Wattley. Dr Harris is the only person from the first executive on the present executive

(PRESS RELEASE) – Exactly three years ago this month, St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris publicly promised to call a press conference of his Peoples Labour Party (PLP) to clear the air on allegations of unaccounted EC$10 million in campaign funds.

The allegations were made by former PLP deputy leader and current St Kitts and Nevis Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, His Excellency, Sam Condor; former PLP chairman Douglas Wattley and former PLP Secretary, Clecton Phillip, who were all ousted from the PLP executive at a hastily-called party conference for publicly calling for an inquiry into the missing funds.

During a press conference in April 2017, PM Harris refused to comment on the allegations stating the prime minister’s press conference was a government event and not a PLP function.

WINNFM’s journalist, Ken Richards, had pointed out to Dr Harris that campaign financing is part of his Team Unity Government’s good governance, transparency and accountability agenda that he promised during the election campaign and he should clear the air on the allegations.

In response Dr Harris accused the BBC-trained journalist of being “bought into the mischief being propagated by persons who are no longer with the PLP.”

“I would therefore caution those who want to propagate those mischiefs that they will answer to the court. In fact all you have from those stories are some hearsay. Not one credible bit of evidence has been put in the public domain, so why are we talking about this hearsay and propaganda that people are attempting to put on social media for others to follow.

I have taken legal action because ultimately that is where the matter will resolve itself,” Harris told the press conference in April 2017.Over the years court sources have confirmed there is no record of any court action by Dr Harris with regard to the allegation of EC$10 million in unaccounted PLP campaign funds.

WINNFM’s Richards also pointed out to Dr Harris at that April 2017 press conference, that his former PLP deputy leader Sam Condor, former PLP chairman Douglas Wattley and former secretary Clecton Phillip, have been publicly calling for an inquiry into the alleged unaccounted for campaign funds and there is need for an inquiry into the matter.

Ken Richard’s attempt to follow-up with the question of full accountability and full transparancy, did not find favour with Dr Harris.

Harris responded: “Yes, but if it is a question to do with the PLP, please, that is a matter already before lawyers and I will not entertain any questions to do with that matter. For the record, I am not entertaining that discussion. At an appropriate forum of the PLP, you could perhaps put that to the PLP. I am dealing here as the prime minister with matters relevant to the government and the accusation of members, whoever they are, of the PLP, have no bearing on the functioning of this government and they are not matters that I raised or matters that I figure a press conference of the government should be diverted to.”

Five years ago, Harris and his three-party coalition were elected on February 16, 2015, but Dr Harrs is yet to set the election date and is said to be awaiting recommendations from a Constituency Boundaries Commission established last November.

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