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MONC: Very pleased with outcome - Mark Brantley



Brantley-on-MONCBasseterre, St. Kitts, 8th November, 2017 ( - The Court ruling of 7th November, 2017, on the Motion of No Confidence (MONC) is a landmark decision, of which he is very pleased, said Foreign Affairs Minister Mark Brantley.


Brantley, at the time of filing the Motion of No Confidence against the Labour Government, led by Dr. Denzil Douglas, was leader of the Parliamentary Opposition that operated under the Team Unity alliance of three political parties.


About two years prior to the St. Kitts & Nevis 2015 General Elections, Brantley filed a Motion of No Confidence against the Labour Government.


The Government argued that there was no timeframe mentioned in the Constitution of St. Kitts & Nevis, while members of the Opposition pointed to numerous examples, especially within the Commonwealth, in which motions were heard generally in a few weeks time, and some were heard within days of being filed.


Heated arguments often ensued when the National Assembly was in session, and Opposition members held the view that former Speaker Curtis Martin was in collusion with the Prime Minister to ensure that the Motion was not heard.


The Motion of No Confidence would have been successful, Brantley reminds, as the Opposition had the majority of votes in Parliament, with six of the 11 elected members on the opposition benches.


Looking back on the period, Brantley stated, “Dr. Douglas used every mechanism to frustrate that motion from being heard, and we felt that the Speaker had been co-opted to being part of that plan.


After two years of wrangling, the general elections descended upon the country and the motion was never heard.


Speaking with, Brantley said, “This case continued to wind its way through the Court, and it ended yesterday with a spectacular and historic result, with the Court ruling in my favour, and in favour of the other claimants, and against the Speaker, not only doing that, but showing disgust for the actions, it has awarded costs to us as well, which is unusual in Constitutional matters.”


Brantley indicated that the claimants do not have copies of the judgment as yet.


However, Brantley said, “The Court had ruled that the Speaker had violated our constitutional right, my constitutional right, to bring a Motion of No Confidence and to have that motion heard expeditiously, ahead of other business, as a matter of urgency.


It was a case that proved that the absence of a specified timeframe in the federation’s Constitution was irrelevant, as the nature of the motion points to the need for swift action by the authorities.


“For all those who were arguing that no timeframe was there, the Court has clearly found that that is incorrect, and that it has to be dealt with as a matter of great urgency, because it goes to the very legitimacy of the Government,” Brantley said.


Continuing his point, he said, “Because if successful, the Prime Minister would either have to resign, or he would have had to call fresh elections within three days. He clearly did not want any of those options and took a third unconstitutional route, which was to deny us the opportunity to have that motion heard at all.”


“I believe that case is now a landmark decision… I am very, very pleased with the outcome,” Brantley stated.


Other claimants in the case were Dr. Timothy Harris, Shawn Richards, Sam Condor, Eugene Hamilton and Vance Amory. Each has been awarded cost by the High Court.

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