Two years after promising to call a press conference of his Peoples Labour Party (PLP) to clear the air on allegations of unaccounted campaign funds, which surfaced after the February 16, 2015 General Elections and on the cusp of another federal election the people of St. Kitts and Nevis are still waiting for answers from PLP leader and Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris.
The allegations have been made by former PLP deputy leader and current St Kitts and Nevis Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, His Excellency, Sam Condor, former PLP chairman Douglas Wattley and former PLP secretary Clecton Phillip who were all ousted from the PLP executive for publicly calling for an inquiry into the alleged unaccounted campaign funds. Dr Harris is the only original Executive member on the PLP Executive holding office.
During a press conference in April 2017, Prime Minister Harris refused to touch the issue of unaccounted campaign funds stating the press conference was a government event and not a PLP function.
A reporter pointed out to Dr Harris that campaign financing is part of his Team Unity administration’s good governance, transparency and accountability agenda that he promised during the election campaign.
In response Dr Harris said: “Campaign financing that is part of good governance and that is a matter that is there, when that particular programme is put to the public, then the public will be advised of it.”
Harris then accused the BBC-trained journalist of being “bought into the mischief being propagated by persons who are no longer with the PLP.”
“I would therefore caution those who want to propagate those mischiefs that they will answer to the court. I myself, is not going to get into any to or fro, but it is discouraging when media houses attempt to take hearsay without a scintilla of evidence from disaffected persons and attempt to propagate it as if there is some truth in it. Not one scintilla of evidence and that has been reported not just by myself, but by senior members of the party.
“In fact all you have from those stories are some hearsay. Not one credible bit of evidence has been put in the public domain, so why are we talking about this hearsay and propaganda that people are attempting to put on social media for others to follow. I have taken legal action because ultimately that is where the matter will resolve itself,” Harris told the press conference in April 2017.
Up until March 15, 2019, court sources there is no record of any court action by Prime Minister Harris with regard to the allegation of EC$10 million in unaccounted campaign funds.
Former PLP deputy leader Sam Condor, former PLP chairman Douglas Wattley and former secretary Clecton Phillip, who have been publicly calling for an inquiry into the alleged unaccounted for campaign funds, were ousted from the PLP executive at a hastily-called convention in March 2017. The three continue to lobby for an inquiry into the matter.
Dr Harris shut down attempts of follow up question stating, “If it is a question to do with the PLP, please, that is a matter already before lawyers and I will not entertain any questions to do with that matter. For the record I am not entertaining that discussion. At an appropriate forum of the PLP, you could perhaps put that to the PLP. I am dealing here as the prime minister with matters relevant to the government and the accusation of members, whoever they are, of the PLP have no bearing on the functioning of this government and they are not matters that I raised or matters that I figure a press conference of the government should be diverted to.”