Basseterre, St Kitts, April 23, 2019 – It’s exactly two years this month that St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and Political Leader of the co-ruling Peoples Labour Party (PLP), Dr the Hon. Timothy Harris, promised to call a news conference of his PLP to clear the air on allegations of unaccounted EC$10 million in campaign funds following the February 16th 2015 General Elections.
During the prime minister’s press conference in April 2017, Dr. Harris refused to touch the issue of the alleged unaccounted campaign funds stating that his press conferences were a government event and not a PLP function.
WINNFM’s Ken Richards had pointed out to Dr. Harris that campaign financing is part of his Team Unity Government’s good governance legislative agenda.
Prime Minister Harris told reporters at the time that legal action had already been initiated on that matter.
“I would therefore caution those who want to propagate those mischief, that they will answer to the court. I myself, is not going to get into any to or fro, but it is discouraging when media houses attempt to take hearsay without a scintilla of evidence from disaffected persons and attempt to propagate it as if there is some truth in it. Not one scintilla of evidence and that has been reported not just by myself, but by senior members of the party. 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.
For the record I have no questions to answer in relation to any financing for the Peoples Labour Party or the Team Unity movement, the records are clear and interestingly not one person other than disaffected have really brought that issue into the public domain or anywhere else because there is no truth to it, it is a mischief by persons who have long lost their relevance who are now attempting to as it were to besmirch the good reputation of others and they are finding some unsuspecting purveyors of that information and we will take those matters where they ought to, to the court system if required, to bring justice on those matters.”
However, a court source confirmed on April 23, 2019, “nothing of that matter was before the court as of today.”
Then PLP deputy leader ambassador Sam Condor; PLP chairman Douglas Wattley and Clecton Phillip, PLP secretary and former press secretary to prime minister Harris, have been calling for an inquiry into the alleged unaccounted campaign funds.
The three are no longer executive members of the PLP, after a new executive was voted in at the party’s first convention in 2017. They continue to maintain however, that there is need for an inquiry into the matter.
WINN FM followed up on a statement that the Prime Minister made by pointing out that the allegations were not coming from persons on the street but from three persons who were executive members.
In response Dr Harris said: “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.”
At the hastily called convention of the PLP in March 2017, all members of the executive, except Dr. Harris, were removed from the party leadership. They were not even invited to attend.
Photo of first Executive of the PLP (left to right) – Clecton Phillip, former PLP secretary and ex-press secretary to prime minister Harris; prime minister and PLP leader, Dr Timothy Harris; former PLP deputy political leader, Ambassador Sam Condor; Venelma Hanley, former PLP treasurer and Douglas Wattley, former PLP chairman.