At a public meeting held on March 12, 2020, the political leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas referred to the Appeal Court’s ruling as a “Saul-like experience” when the Apostle was on the road to Damascus.
Following the 2015 general elections, the Timothy Harris administration, in what has been described as a naked act of political victimization, revoked Dr. Douglas’ diplomatic passport in spite of the fact that he is a distinguished statesman, having served the people of St. Kitts and Nevis as Prime Minister for twenty years and was now the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition of St. Kitts and Nevis. When the diplomatic passport was issued to him as a courtesy by the government of Dominica, the Harris administration used this as a pretext to initiate legal action under Section 28 of the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis.
The court of first instance ruled in favour of Dr. Douglas but was overturned by the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal on March 12, 2020 and ordered, among other things, that Dr. Douglas vacate his seat in Parliament immediately.
Dr. Douglas elaborated his views on the ruling at the public meeting, stating, “I strongly disagree with the ruling, but I will respect and abide by the Court’s decision. This ruling has brought us closer to the election that Timothy Harris is mortally afraid to call whether it takes place through a by-election or a national general election.”
Douglas made it clear that he intends to compete in any election in Constituency Number Six (6). “The Court has baptized me anew with the power of the people. Before its ruling I was the Right Honorable Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, the elected representative of Constituency Number Six and Opposition Leader of St. Kitts and Nevis. But now I am Dr. Denzil Douglas, the Political Leader of the NextGen SKN St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and a proud and enthusiastic NextGen SKN candidate for Constituency Number Six,” he stated to the jubilant crowd.
Implicit in Douglas’ comments is the idea that “a bad wind never blows”, especially now that the national mood is in favor of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party returning to serve the interests of every citizen and resident in the Federation. Last night’s rally drew a record-breaking crowd for this stage of the political season, with hundreds gathered in the streets of Fig Tree on walls and roof tops. There was also widespread support on social media with over 1000 viewers watching the Labour Party’s live stream. Throughout the evening, scores of supporters and party faithfuls showered Dr. Douglas with expressions of love and affirmation. Several voters were heard saying: “Tell them to call the election now, now that the court ruled and everybody is back on board.”