Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 17, 2020 (SKNIS)
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation in the Federal Parliament and Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Mark Brantley, says that the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis provides that a State of Emergency can occur for a period not exceeding 12 months. He highlighted this during his presentation in the House of Assembly on April 17 when a Resolution to extend the State of Emergency in St. Kitts and Nevis was being debated.

Section 19 of the Constitution which speaks of the “Declaration of Emergency” says, “The Governor-General may by proclamation declare that for the purposes of this Chapter a State of Emergency exists either in Saint Christopher and Nevis or in part of Saint Christopher and Nevis.” Section 19 (7) of the Constitution reads, “Provided that any such resolution may be extended from time to time by a further such resolution, each extension not exceeding twelve months from the date of the resolution effecting the extension; and any such resolution may be revoked at any time by a further resolution.”

Minister Brantley said, “The framers of our Constitution understood that the parliament must be able to have the room to manoeuvre to respond to emergencies as they rise that threaten our national interest, and COVID is an emergency.”

“We want to be able to keep our cases down, no hospitalisation, no community spread … to give the all-clear to say that the war is over and that we have won,” said Honourable Brantley.“This is a time where we must focus our efforts nationally on the health, safety and security of our people,”he said.“The time for the partisan politics will come … and the task at hand today is to provide the constitutional support for the State of Emergency,” he added.

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