BASSETERRE: During his weekly radio program, St. Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas expressed support for the twin-island federation’s courts.
“When the Court rules, we, in this Federation of ours, respect the wisdom of the Court,” said Dr. Douglas. “This we have done in the past, and this we shall continue to do. Because it is this respect for each branch, by each branch, one for another, that ensures and guarantees the longevity and the stability of our deeply cherished democracy.”
Douglas’ statement was made on the show “Ask the Prime Minister” and referred to a decision of the Court of Appeal upholding a lower court ruling that the 2011 Nevis Island Assembly election in the District of St. John’s was null and void.
“St. Kitts & Nevis is a solid, stable member of the world community of nations, with a respected tradition of parliamentary democracy,” said Douglas. “We have three branches of government – the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary – each, in their own way, serving and advancing the public good.”
Douglas said election-related matters have been taken to the courts on several occasions, over the years – both in St. Kitts as well as in Nevis.
“And initial rulings have, in various cases, been appealed – again, both in St. Kitts, as well as in Nevis,” said Douglas. “On matters electoral and non-electoral alike, Kittitians and Nevisians have long exercised their right to take their grievances to the Court.”
Douglas emphasized that persons have the right to appeal court rulings.
“And, if ever and whenever the Court has issued a ruling with which those involved were not satisfied, they have always had the right to appeal these rulings. This, nationals have done – time and time again. Indeed, the Federation’s electoral system has, on several occasions, been placed under the scrutiny of the Court, and the charges made by concerned parties found to be without merit.
“We have an important tradition of parliamentary democracy in St. Kitts & Nevis with three branches of Government, each fulfilling its unique role, each respecting the other.
“Ours is an independent judiciary in St. Kitts & Nevis, and when it speaks, we listen,” said Douglas.