Opposition Parliamentarian Honourable Patrice Nisbett, who represents St. James and St. Thomas (Nevis 11) in the Federal Parliament, has congratulated the Team UNITY government’s appointment of Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable Michael Perkins, whom he said has had a positive influence on his life as his exemplary high school teacher.
While some of his colleague opposition parliamentarians could not muster anything good to say regarding the Nevisian Speaker and others absented themselves from the honourable chamber on the momentous occasion of Honourable Perkins’ elevation to Speaker of the House, Mr. Nisbett found common ground with his Nevisian brother and praised Speaker Perkins for playing a positive role in shaping him to be the person he is today.
“Mr. Speaker, I have known you for some time. I think we are in Nevis and here on the different political divide. If my recollection serves me right, you would have taught me Mathematics in third form, so I would have had the opportunity to engage with you at that particular level,” Mr. Nisbett said in the Sitting of the National Assembly on June 30, 2016.
“I would hope that as a result of your imparting some knowledge to me, I have been able to become the individual that I am today, so I would imagine that you would have had some influence and some impact upon my life, my student life at least, at the Charlestown Secondary School,” he added. “I remember you being very alert and very agile.”
Mr. Nisbett went on to congratulate Speaker Perkins.
“I would want on behalf of the People of Nevis 11, on behalf of myself, I would want to congratulate you on your elevation to this high office and I would wish you the best in your Speakership and would hope that we are able to get a fair and balanced deal on this side of the House and of course once we move quickly to deal with the rules of the House, we will be able to clear out the necessary ambiguity and loopholes so that persons understand clearly what the rules are…and so I wish you all the best and I hope that you have success,” Mr. Nisbett said.
He also thanked Mr. Franklyn Brand, Former Speaker of the House, whose resignation due to ill health was announced in May of this year. Mr. Brand also hails from Nevis. Mr. Nisbett agrees that the Parliament needed reform from what it used to be under the Douglas Administration and indicated that Former Speaker Brand had brought about some measure of reform under the Team Unity dispensation.
“I would want to join with the honourable members in thanking the Honourable Franklyn Brand, the Former Speaker of the National Assembly for his service to this Parliament and also for his service to the people and country of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Mr. Nisbett said.
“We would have had certain interactions with Mr. Brand and I believe generally we were moving in the right direction in relation to the reform of the Parliament and the reform of the various institutions of the Parliament which one would have hoped would have promoted and enhanced the democratic traditions here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Mr. Nisbett added.
Meanwhile, Speaker Perkins has pledged that the Parliament will be “starting afresh” as far as the Speakership is concerned. He said that he will be “fair, transparent and stern where necessary” while demystifying the proceedings of Parliament, that is, simplifying things for the listening audience.
“I will do all that is necessary to ensure order and decorum in this House,” Speaker Perkins said.