Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris is flat out denying a claim by Antigua’s Education Minister that he called Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne saying if the minister came to St. Kitts to speak at an opposition event this past weekend, it would be considered a declaration of war and the minister’s safety could not be guaranteed.
On Saturday, Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Education Michael Browne was a guest speaker at the launch of Leon Natta-Nelson’s candidacy for the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party in constituency 7, a seat currently held by Prime Minister Harris. There, he made a shocking revelation.
“About after midnight last night the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis called my Prime Minister and he expressed abhorrence that I am coming into St. Kitts to speak at this function. So the charge was that my presence here, me coming here to speak, is a declaration of war… and these were some of the concerns that troubled me coming from a democratic perspective- If Michael Browne speaks, not only will it be 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.”
On Monday the Office of Prime Minister Harris issued a statement but it neither denied nor confirmed if he did in fact make the call to Prime Minister Browne and made the comments about the Honorable Michael Browne’s visit to St. Kitts.
The statement alluded to the allegations being the Opposition’s attempt at a distraction, saying “it was 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 went on to say that both Prime Ministers converse regularly and the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, in keeping with well-established protocol, will preserve the confidentiality of such conversations.
In an interview with WINN FM however, Prime Minister Harris said the allegations were completely false, but when asked if the Antiguan Minister had lied, said he had not heard the Minister’s comments for himself.
“The allegations are totally false and mischievous and it appears that having been unsuccessful in their re-launch, the Labour Party is attempting to find an excuse. We have no interest in obstructing an event and in fact we welcome everyone to come to St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Individuals who come must preserve their own honor and integrity. To be fair to him I’ve have not heard him, what he has said. I’ve seen allegations being made coming from the Douglas Labour Party. I can’t verify what was said at that particular event and so I do not want to get into a direct response to something I had heard that he had said.”
SKNLP Chairman Dr. Terrence Drew says the alleged comments were typical acts of aggression and intimidation on the part of Prime Minister Harris and he should be called upon to apologize.
“These acts by the Prime Minister are nothing new…so these acts of intimidation and aggression against the principles of good governance, against the principles of democracy, Prime Minister Timothy Harris has been practicing that for some time now but I think he has taken it a step too far now, gone beyond our borders and entered into a another sovereign country and trying to intimidate people…This is a Prime Minister who is losing it.”