Deputy Political Leader of the opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Hon Marcella Liburd has accused the Timothy Harris led government of being bad stewards of the country’s finances.
Liburd indicated that the current administration has a poor record of good governance and accountability, during last Friday’s sitting of Parliament.
To support her claim, Liburd brought up the issue of payments made to United States lobbyist Lanny Davis, in the amount of US$106,000 (EC$286,200) for professional services in 2016- services which Prime Minister Harris said were “free.”.
Liburd accused Prime Minister Harris of misleading the country on the two payments made to the US lobbyist in 2016 and referred to documents posted on the US Attorney General’s website which indicated that a first payment of US$52, 752 was paid by the Office of the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis to Lanny J. Davis & Associates, LLC of 1900 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 and a second payment of US$43,301 to Levick Strategic Communications, LP, of 1900 M Street, NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20036 for lobbying services.
Both payments received from the Office of the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and were filed in compliance with the US Attorney General’s FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) Report to the United States Congress.
But Prime Minister Harris on a point of order accused the Central Basseterre MP of coming to the Parliament “with untruths.”
“There is only one entity that can make payment on behalf of the Government, the Accountant General. There has not been one cent, not one cent paid by the Government of St Kitts and Nevis to Lanny Davis,” said Dr Harris, who did not make a request for Liburd’s statement on the Lanny Davis issue to be withdrawn.
When the issue was raised previously Harris had accused Members of Parliament on the opposition benches of “relying on hearsay” and of “going down a path of untruth and mischief.”
He had also labelled the posting on the US Attorney General’s website “a concoction and imagination.”
Liburd, the St Christopher 2 (Central Basseterre) Parliamentary Representative, also accused Dr Harris of hiding the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 2018 Article IV Consultation on the economy of St Kitts and Nevis from the people.