After one full year, PM Harris still refuses to call a PLP press  conference to deal with unaccounted campaign funds

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Basseterre, St. Kitts, -– It has now passed one year since St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris promised to call a press conference of his Peoples Labour Party (PLP) to deal with allegations of unaccounted campaign funds, which surfaced following the February 16th 2015 General Elections.

The allegations have been made by former PLP deputy leader His Excellency Ambassador Sam Condor, former PLP chairman Douglas Wattley and former General Secretary and Press Secretary to PM Harris, Clecton Phillip, who along with other founding members have been publicly calling for an inquiry.

During the prime minister’s press conference in April 2017, Dr. Harris refused to touch the issue of unaccounted campaign funds stating the press conference was a government event and not a PLP function.

WINNFM’s Ken Richards had pointed out to Dr. Harris that campaign financing was part of his Team Unity Government’s good governance, transparacy and accountability agenda that he promised during the election campaign.

“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. You brought in too, the mischief being propagated by persons who are no longer with the PLP in large measure because of that mischief,” responded Dr. Harris.

“I would therefore caution those who want to propagate those mischief, 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.

Court sources say however there is no record of court action by the prime minister with regard to the allegation of EC$10 million in unaccounted campaign funds one year after.

WINNFM had pointed out to Prime Minister Harris that his former PLP deputy leader, Ambassador Sam Condor, former PLP chairman Douglas Wattley and former General Secretary and Press Secretary to PM Harris, Clecton Phillip; have also been publicly calling for an inquiry into the alleged unaccounted for campaign funds.

The three, who are no longer executive members of the PLP after a new executive was voted in at the party’s convention in March 2017, continue to maintain however, that there is need for an inquiry into the matter.

And WINNFM’s follow-up question did not find favour with Dr. Harris.

“Yes, but 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,” he said.

“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,” prime minister Harris replied.

Photo- Launch of the PLP (left to right). former General Secretary and former Press Secretary to PM Harris, Mr. Clecton Phillip; Political Leader, Dr. Timothy Harris; former Deputy Political Leader, Sam Condor; former Treasurer Venelma Hanley and former Chairman, Mr. Douglas Wattley. Phillip, Condor, Hanley and Wattley were removed from the party executive at a hastily called inaugural PLP Convention a few feet away from PM Harris private residence and replaced with members of his family and close friends. Harris was the only former executive member re-elected. Phillip, Condor, Hanley and Wattley were not invited to the conference.