THE POWER OF A PRIME MINISTER
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By: Mercia Bassue
The Westminister system is a democratic parliamentary system of government patterned from the United Kingdom which is used throughout most of the English speaking countries of the Caribbean. The system clearly outlines the constitutional/legal powers of a Prime Minister (PM) who in the real sense of the word is the Head of State as the Governor General and Presidents’ powers are mainly ceremonial. Prime Ministers are the pivotal player in government and politics in parliamentary democracies. The Prime Minister is King of the Land with supreme powers whose efforts are supported by the ministers and subjects.
The powers of a Chief of State (PM) are vast and the position within itself is multifaceted. Anyone who holds this ministerial position must be skillful and tactful in exercising their authority whilst maintaining their popularity and power. He or she to a large extent determines the success or failure of their political party, cabinet, government and country as a whole. Charged with the authority to supervise the implementation of government programs, the Chief Executive (PM) usually gives their approval or input on almost every critical government matter. They direct and redirect as they see fit because the weight of the country rest on their shoulder.
Understanding the powers of the Prime Minister will ultimately lead to a mature resolution of issues and the avoidance of negative publicity and personal offenses. It adds to the level of respect and trust that is necessary to build civic comradery. This understanding will increase overall confidence in the actions of the Chief Executive (PM) as they may not always be previously announced. The only person who can dissolve parliament and call elections is the Prime Minister who usually does this at a politically advantageous time. They can also request the resignation of a minister including a Deputy Prime Minister and a Minister of State.
The powers of the leader (PM) must be harnessed and used in a positive cohesive way for the best interest of the country and not for individualistic or selfish agendas. Dr. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis has been able to use his powers to fashion and shape the Team Unity concept. Maneuvering political operants from three distinct political parties. Building relationships with colleagues and followers preventing the expected collapse of the strongest thriving economy among small island states.
The Prime Minister has been able to turn around the misfortunes of secession for Nevis in recent times. The call for secession is null and void as the Leader (PM) of the federal construct built a bridge of unity, that is now solidly planted in the waters between St. Kitts and Nevis. Former and current parliamentarians can all confirm the fact that Nevisians are living their best days ever as it relates to financial support and relationship within the federal government.
The Economic Stimulus Package in response to the covid-19 pandemic presented by the leader of Team Unity (PM) is evidence of using power for the betterment of all. One hundred and twenty (120) million dollars was pledged to revive the economy and reduce the fallout from covid-19. Maintaining over 8000 employees whose income was impacted through Income Assistance Programs was insightful and generous.
A recent Arabian Newspaper Article highlighted the federations’s Prime Minister’s approach to COVID-19 as “Turning a global crisis into an opportunity”. Nations throughout the world have commended the government in particular the Prime Minister (PM) for his astute leadership and decisive n decision making abilities. Being able to use his skillsets pooled with his powers to perform outstandingly making St. Kitts and Nevis an International brand name.
May God continue to bless the Prime Minister and the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, and all the leaders of the nations of the earth.
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