St.Kitts MP Astaphan criticises PM Douglas for Cabinet mismanagement

By Melissa Bryant

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – MEMBER of Parliament (MP) and former Minister of National Security Hon. Dwyer Astaphan has condemned the actions of Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, saying that he has ruled over the Cabinet “like someone who is the sole electee there rather than like one of a number of electees”.

Astaphan made these comments Wednesday (Jan. 28) at a press conference at his Port Zante office, where he noted he had two fundamental differences with Douglas on how he led Cabinet.

According to Astaphan, the first difference is related to Douglas’ tendency to make unilateral decisions. “The Prime Minister ought to lead the Cabinet as if he is sitting with other deciders like himself and not as the sole decider or the sole maker of policies, who essentially gives members a vote when it suits him and finesses them at other times when it also suits him to do so.

“These policies must reflect the vision, agenda and undertakings of the political party on whose ticket they all got elected in the first place. They must be the policies of the government.”

The Labour Party’s Parliamentary Representative for Central Basseterre revealed that the second source of conflict was Douglas’s insistence that nominated Cabinet members should have the same say as elected members. He stressed that the PM had already relegated elected members to being little more than “conversation partners” and this insistence served to drive the stake even more deeply into the heart of the democratic process.

“I am not saying that appointed individuals should not have a say in Cabinet. What I am saying is that individuals who are elected by the people of this country must have a greater say in Cabinet than individuals who are not so elected, because the people’s votes must be worth more than just the arithmetic on election night that determines who wins the elections,” Astaphan asserted.

He further stated his belief that the unelecteds possessed more power in Cabinet than the elected themselves, and that they were put in Cabinet to be a part of the PM’s “destructive and divisive” alliance.

“The unelected are persons who are his whipping boys, his gofers, who he brings in to the Cabinet to pad up his voting power and to neutralise the elected. They are persons who believe and say they are in Cabinet at his behest and it is to him and him alone that they must account,” Astaphan said.

He stressed that Douglas’ practice of ruling over Cabinet should no longer be tolerated within the nation and that if it continued, persons would only be giving leeway for him to act out his tendencies to behave in an imperious and dictatorial manner.

Related Articles

Back to top button