St. Kitts government denies seeking to prevent Antigua Minister from addressing opposition rally


The St. Kitts-Nevis government has sought to distance itself from allegations that it tried to pressure Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda into preventing his Education Minister, Michael S Browne, from addressing a rally of the main opposition party here over the last weekend.

In a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister accused the main opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) of engaging in a “campaign of lies, innuendo and mischief to destabilize the country.

Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris (File Photo)

“For the public record, the said Minister arrived in St. Kitts and Nevis on a private political mission, and yet was warmly welcomed by a protocol officer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and another officer who drove him to the Marriott Resort. The Minister was further assisted with his departure in a similar manner by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. At no point before or after his arrival were any threats made or was anyone’s security at risk,” the statement added,

But the SKNLP in its statement said that it wanted to denounce the latest incident, accusing the Timothy Harris government of harbouring “dangerous, dictatorial, fascistic and narcissistic tendencies.

The party said that it was Browne, himself, who during the ceremony last Saturday informed the audience that during the early hours of that morning, Prime Minister Harris had called his Antigua and Barbuda counterpart expressing abhorrence that Browne had arrived here to speak at a rally where the opposition party’s candidate for the next general election would be introduced.

In a recording of the speech, Browne confirms the call had been made to Prime Minister Browne, adding “that soldiers are always best prepared when armed with information.

“So the charge was that my presence here, me coming here to speak, is a declaration of war,’ Browne said, adding that he was also concerned about his safety while in the twin island Federation.

“There was a boomeranging of thoughts in my mind all morning while I was on the strip, while I was having breakfast, while I was working the phones including with the good efforts of your comrade leader. And these are some of the concerns that troubled me coming from a democratic perspective.

“If Michael Browne speaks, not only will it be a demonstration, a declaration of war, but we will not be able to guarantee his safety. If he speaks, not only will we not be able to guarantee his safety but he may not be permitted to come back to St. Kitts,” he told the SKNLP supporters.

But in a radio interview here, Prime Minister Harris insisted that “the allegations are totally false and mischievous” but stop short of labelling the Antigua and Barbuda Education Minister a liar.

“To be fair to him, I have not heard what he has said, I have seen allegations being made coming from the (Denzil) Douglas Labour Party. I can’t verify what was said at that particular event, so I don’t want to get into a direct response into something that I heard,” he told WINNFM radio.

The statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said “it is unfortunate that in spite of kind courtesies in facilitating a Minister on his private political mission, the said allegations would emerge.

“The Office of the Prime Minister will not be drawn into a distraction of the moment.,” it added.

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  1. Hope the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party paid for his trip or he paid for it out of his own pocket, which I doubt, and not the Antiguan government. We know the ministers like their per diems.

  2. Timothy Harris tried to use his local bullying tactics on people overseas and got exposed. Oh my.

  3. I will only say this. This habit of politicians from one country going to another country to try to in their words lend support is in my view not proper. It looks very much like political interference. I think that politicians should concentrate on things on their home turf and leave matters in foreign territories alone. Whatever good intentions they might have, it could easily cause a rift and I think that it is unnecessary. Can you really imagine a minister from governing party, going into as neighboring country, benefitting from all the courtesies extended by that government, then he goes on an opposition platform and denounce the same government that provide the courtesies. Really unheard of.

  4. He actually never denied that eh. He skipped around what the minister out of Antigua said and said that it was the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party who was telling lies when the truth is that the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party never said that he called Gaston. He only said that Labour lied when in truth it was not Labour who said that he did something. He never said and can’t say that he didn’t call Gaston and he never said that the minister out of Antigua lied. Which only suggests to me that indeed the Hon minister, Michael Browne was telling the truth or tim would have come right out and said that the minister telling lies on him. But he can’t

    • Everybody knows that the SKNLP will not win the next general elections. Dougie will NEVER become PM in the Federation again. His days are long gone. He is desperate and it shows. Yes he will win his seat in St. Pauls (the birthplace of Labour left by Bradshaw), but he needs to step aside and give someone else a chance to lead the party. Why not Marcella? Dr. Drew is a nice guy, but he is in the wrong party. And Konris Maynard is lazy and needs to stick to calypso. He is seen as Dougie puppet. And he gonna get his ass whopped by a first-timer and a female one.

      Has Dougie settled his debts to Freedom FM yet? Word on the street is that Marcella had to beg Junie to take it easy with him about the debt owed to the radio station.

      Dougie just cannot get over the fact that his former bosom-buddy and Cabinet colleague has kicked him to the curb and is not sitting in the seat that he Dougie thinks belong to him forever.

      Looks like it’s 5 more years for TEAM UNITY.

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