Charlestown, Nevis (Monday, Dec. 11, 2017).
Curious motorists and pedestrians paused on Monday morning to take note of two signs which sprung up overnight outside the Nevis Island Assembly Chambers. “No Budget, No Parliament, No Vote for CCM ” read one sign near the main entrance on Main Street, and the other on the steps of the Parliament visible from the busy Samuel Hunkins Drive read, “No Cabinet, No Parliament, No Vote 4 CCM, Vote NRP.”
Under the outgoing Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), the Assembly, the lawmaking body, met only on two (2) occasions in 2017, and for a total of nine (9) times over the past five years. It is the absence of the presentation of the annual Budget, however, which Nevisians have found most galling.
The Budget is normally presented in early December, and is used to account for revenue and expenditure over the past financial year, and to roll out plans and provide projections for the upcoming year.
With Premier Vance Amory no longer contesting the St. George’s seat, the CCM has found itself without a Minister of Finance, and Mark Brantley, the leader of government business has used subterfuge to avoid laying the Appropriation Bill 2018 and Draft Estimates. The non-presentation of the annual Budget has capped the worst reporting year of any government in the 34- year history of the Nevis Island Assembly.
One male motorist, who stopped his SUV on Main Street to observe the sign, remarked, “their days are numbered. This is gross disrespect.”
A middle-aged female pedestrian, who stood at the feet of the Christena Memorial to observe the sign, said she couldn’t recall the last time she had seen the Assembly opened or heard a debate emanating from there. She said out loud, “Sim must be turning in his grave.”
An American couple, on their way to visit the Museum of Nevis History located on the lower level of Hamilton House, took pictures of the sign, and inquired of a local standing in the courtyard, what it was all about.
When told that there will be local elections on the island next Monday, and that the non-function of the Assembly had been a matter of great concern for Nevisians, the couple smiled, shook their heads and walked towards the repository of Nevisian history.
The Nevis Island Assembly came into being at Independence on September 19, 1983, and was designed by the founding fathers, including first premier and national hero, Dr. Sir Simeon Daniel as a place to enact laws to enhance the lives of Nevisians, and debate the issues of the day.
Brantley told a recent CCM Town Hall Meeting in New York, that the Assembly was not obliged to meet regularly, and only the Budget session was required by law.
*This article was posted in its entirety as received by SKN PULSE. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical errors within press releases and (or) commentaries. The views contained within are not necessarily those of SKN PULSE.