TEAM UNITY’S HISTORIC (TENURE OF OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER) (AMENDMENT) BILL SEEKS FIRST-EVER CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IN ST. KITTS-NEVIS
November 25th, 2019
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris and his Team Unity administration will make history when the Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis (Tenure of Office of Prime Minister) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 proceeds to its second reading. It is scheduled on the Order Paper for the next sitting of the St. Kitts-Nevis National Assembly this Thursday, November 28th.
If passed in the National Assembly, the landmark piece of legislation for the British Caribbean would realize the first-ever amendment to the Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis, which took effect on Independence Day, September 19th, 1983.
The Team Unity Government is seeking to amend Section 52, which is concerned with the appointment of Ministers. Specifically, it proposes the insertion of two new subsections, stating in 52 (2) A that, “Notwithstanding subsection 52 (2), a Representative shall not hold office as Prime Minister for more than two terms, whether or not served consecutively” and stating in 52 (2) (B) that, “In this section, a ‘term’ refers to the period provided for in section 31 of the Constitution.” Section 31 is concerned with the Tenure of Office of Representatives and Senators.
If the Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis (Tenure of Office of Prime Minister) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 were to be passed in the National Assembly, it would represent a significant watershed in the evolution of St. Kitts-Nevis politics, as well as a call to do politics differently.
The establishment of fixed leadership terms for the holder of the Office of Prime Minister would play a seminal role in aligning the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis with internationally recognized best practices in politics and governance. Importantly, this would serve to promote democracy by furthering succession planning and ensuring that the Office of Prime Minister, who is the head of government, represents the will of the people.
Political scientists and analysts agree that, “Democracy requires reliable processes for the transfer of power from one generation of leaders to the next.”
The monumental piece of legislation that seeks to establish term limits for the Office of Prime Minister is viewed as an indicator of the Team Unity Government’s commitment to its ongoing Good Governance and Accountability Agenda. This agenda was one of the platforms on which Prime Minister Harris and his colleagues won the 2015 general elections in St. Kitts and Nevis.
This article was posted in its entirety as received by SKN PULSE. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical errors within press releases and or commentaries. The views contained within are not necessarily those of SKN PULSE.