Less than a month after he led the coalition Team Unity into office for a second consecutive term, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris has reiterated his desire to step down at the end of this current five year term.
Addressing the People’s Action Movement’s (PAM) Service of Praise and Thanksgiving on Sunday, Harris, 56, said he has long maintained his commitment to serving just two terms as the third prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Last November, the government tabled the Constitution of Saint Christopher and Nevis (Tenure of Office of Prime Minister) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the National Assembly, as part of this commitment. But the measure failed because it had required a special majority for its passage.
In the June 5 general election, Team Unity won nine of the 11 seats, but the main opposition St. Kitts-Nevis labour Party (SKNLP) has filed election petitions challenging the results in five constituencies.
“I have said that I am committed to two terms in the Office of the Prime Minister and I will be very ready to support the Honourable Shawn Richards, the leader of the People’s Action Movement, when that time has come, and to bring all of my experience and all of my knowledge to give him the strongest support so that he can continue to deliver the stronger and safer future,” said Harris.
The PAM is one of three members of the coalition, with the other two being Harris’s People’s Labour Party (PLP) and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCN) in Nevis.
Richards, who has been a legislator for the past 15 years, said he has learnt and accomplished much for the people of his constituency over the period.
“I have one more political goal to deliver on…and that is to be not the next prime minister but the first prime minister that Sandy Point has produced,” he added.
Harris has said that establishing fixed leadership terms for the holder of the office of Prime Minister would promote democracy by furthering succession planning and ensuring that the head of government serves the will of the people rather than only the interests of a few.