SPEECH BY DR. DOUGLAS AT PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT CASE

DOUGLAS AT PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER MAJOR LEGAL VICTORY
DOUGLAS AT PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER MAJOR LEGAL VICTORY

A very pleasant good afternoon to our listening audience tuning in from across the nation and around the world by radio and internet. Thank you for tuning in. I would also like to thank Freedom FM and Kyss FM for broadcasting our press conference live. I also welcome you, members of the media, for your attendance at this extraordinary press conference.

The Holy Bible says that “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward…For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.” These verses, taken from Colossians, Chapter 3, convey the principle of Divine Justice, and they come to mind as I consider the decisive verdict that was handed down Wednesday February 20th by His Lordship, Justice Trevor Ward Q.C. in what has come to be called the Diplomatic Passport case

In my humble view, there could have been no other reasonable outcome to this case. From the inception, we in the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, and my legal team have maintained that this case has never been about law. Dr. Harris set about to dupe the good citizens of this country into believing that there was something truly amiss. I have always maintained that the failure of the Harris Administration to grant me the appropriate privileges and courtesies befitting my rank as a senior statesman and Leader of Opposition has been purely an act of political harassment and victimisation in pursuit of the Prime Minister’s political vendetta. This case has always been about POLITICS and a blatant attempt to unseat me from Parliament and to impugn and malign my good character and reputation. In the typical style of elitist despots around the world, Dr. Harris tried to abuse the Constitution and the law to assist his political agenda. But, Justice has prevailed and they lost, and they lost badly! And, I never had one iota of doubt that they would.

I would like to take a moment to thank my legal team; Mr. Anthony Astaphan S.C., Mr. Sylvester Anthony, Mrs. Angelina Sookoo-Bobb and Queen’s Counsel Delano Bart for their diligent representation. I would also like to thank my beloved supporters in Constituency #6 and all the lovers of liberty and justice across the Federation who stood in solidarity with me from the very beginning. This has not just been a victory for me; it has been a victory for all whom this government has sought to oppress and victimise. It is a victory for democracy and the rule of law, which this Unity administration has sought so vigorously to undermine and abolish.

We have witnessed over the last four years a wanton abuse of state power by Dr. Timothy Harris to subjugate and abuse civil servants, arrest and detain police officers, and harass and intimidate ordinary citizens. We have witnessed the crass abuse of Parliamentary rules and procedures to erode our democracy by seeking to demean, undermine and castigate the Opposition in order to gain unfair political advantage. This government frowns upon the role that an Opposition ought properly play in any democratic society. St. Kitts and Nevis has been ushered into an era of despotic and autocratic rule under Dr. Timothy Harris.

The Parliament of our land was convened on Wednesday, not to conduct the legislative business of the people. No law was debated or passed. Parliament was called for the sole purpose of creating a political platform on which members of the government could parade as they were anticipating a victory at the Court that same day. The Speaker, knowingly, broke one of the cardinal rules of Parliament when he, sitting in the chair, delved into this diplomatic passport matter that was under the active consideration of the courts of our land, and in relation to which a verdict was to be delivered on that very day. Where is the limit? Where has their basic decency gone? Have they no shame?

Thank God that it is He who is ultimately in control of the wheels of justice. Martin Luther King Jr, at the conclusion of the bus boycott sparked by Rosa Park’s just defiance, in Montgomery, Alabama in a racially-segregated America in 1956, uttered these immortal words – “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I agree with Martin Luther. I wholeheartedly agree. By faith I believe, and I am encouraged that the vicious victimisation, the abhorrent corruption and the deploring of our democracy will not continue forever. They must and will be brought to an end, at once.

Justice Ward delivered a comprehensive verdict that dealt a decisive blow to Harris’ despotic and undemocratic attempt to deprive the people of St. Christopher 6 of the representation for which they voted. The courts of law have long been abused by the wealthy and powerful to deprive ordinary people of what they justly deserve. But we have come too far as a nation, and we will not now allow the likes of Timothy Harris, the Attorney General Juicy Byron, and their families to reverse the gains that Robert Bradshaw and those who served with him ushered in, and which my administration laboured to maintain.

Today, I have been completely vindicated. My loyalty and allegiance to my beloved country has always been firm and unwavering. My loyalty to my country and countrymen has always been the (thee) paramount consideration in all that I do in service to my people and country. This case which, for all intents and purposes, ended on Wednesday, was always intended as a mere distraction from the colossal failures, glaring nepotism, rampant corruption and blatant victimisation in the government presided over by Dr. Harris. He has sought, but in vain, to blemish my untainted and superlative record of service and leadership that I gave to the people of this country for 30 years.

My record is one which Dr. Harris will NEVER be able to replicate, for he has spent the last four years serving only himself, his family, and his friends, and their bank accounts. No amount of suing, scheming and plotting will save Dr. Harris this time. Not THIS time! No amount of intimidation and victimization will save him from the will of God and the will of the people! With the dismissal of their Diplomatic Passport case and all the other frivolous cases that he has brought against us, Dr. Harris WILL NOT succeed in making this next general election about his lies of the PAST.

When the people of St. Kitts and Nevis go to polls on that bright election morning, not too long from now, the only question that they will have on their minds is, “Who will be the best leader to lead a government that serves the interest of ALL OF THE PEOPLE; and, whose leadership will best help to deliver a future filled with opportunity, fairness, justice, hope, peace and broadbased social and economic advancement?” I have NO DOUBT that after the dismal failure that this government has been; after all the hardship that our people have been forced to endure, and after the selfish, corrupt, ruthless, despotic and reckless way in which the Harris administration has governed this country, the voters of St. Kitts and Nevis will answer that question with the names of Dr. Denzil Douglas and his colleague leaders of St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party! Our desire is to truly serve others.

I have no doubt, as I prepare to lead a team of young leaders, Next Generation leaders who have availed themselves for service, into government, that the successful transition of leadership from your humble servant to another great leader of this party is well assured. This is my only desire – to ensure that the baton is passed, not outside of the starting block, but inside the starting block…. this time. My cause now, is for the future, … and the future alone.

May God bless you! I thank you!

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