Denzil Douglas

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The Right Honourable
Denzil Douglas
Denzil L Douglas.jpg
2nd Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis
In office
6 July 1995 – 18 February 2015
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Clement Arrindell
Cuthbert Sebastian
Edmund Lawrence
Preceded by Kennedy Simmonds
Succeeded by Timothy Harris
Personal details
Born (1953-01-14) 14 January 1953 (age 65)
Saint Paul Capisterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Political party Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party
Alma mater University of the West Indies

Denzil Llewellyn Douglas (born 14 January 1953) is the longest-serving Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, in office from 1995 to 2015. Subsequently he has been Leader of the Opposition. He is the leader of the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP).[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life and pre-political career[edit]

Born on 14 January 1953[2] in the village of St. Pauls, Douglas studied medicine as a young man. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1977 and a Degree in Medicine in 1984 from the University of the West Indies.[3] In 1986 he established a private medical practice as a family physician and served as President of the St. Kitts-Nevis Medical Association in the late 1980s.[2]

Political life[edit]

Douglas was elected M.P. for St. Christopher (No.6) ward (Newton Ground, St. Paul's, Dieppe Bay, Saddlers, and Harris) in the National Assembly of Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1989 and appointed Leader of the Opposition. That year he was also elected leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party after some internal wrangling for the leadership between himself and the then incumbent political leader Sir Lee L Moore. This internal feud was after Sir Lee L Moore had lost his seat in constituency number 4.

He restructured the party in preparation for its 1995 electoral victory. He was appointed Prime Minister of the Federation in 1995, re-appointed Prime Minister in March 2000 and again in October 2004 after the Labour Party won a third term with seven of the eight seats on St. Kitts. The Labour Party won its fourth consecutive term in office on 25 January 2010, winning six of the eight seats on St Kitts in the eleven-member National Assembly.

Political scandals[edit]

Dr. Douglas' political career has been punctuated with many scandals and has been dubbed as showing the world what corruption is about in a Barbadian newspaper. It turns out that Kate Woodley, the mother of the children of recently re-elected Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, has a “consulting business” that received funds from the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party. It gets worse: she is a Ministry of Foreign Affairs employee at the St. Kitts and Nevis Consulate in Manhattan, New York. “Money donated to the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party by voters and businesses ended up in the personal bank accounts of family members of Prime Minister Denzil Douglas.”[4]

In 2015, before losing the elections to the incumbent, Dr. Timothy Harris, the United States revoked his visa. The diplomatic visa of the former prime minister was said to have been revoked before the February 16, 2015, general elections over concerns the US government has regarding the management of the citizenship by investment programme.[5]

Scandal after scandal has been following Dr. Douglas. The latest scandal being where the ex prime minister is accused of having a Dominican Diplomatic passport contrary to the Constitution of St Kitts and Nevis. According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Brantley Dr. Douglas, the Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Six, has admitted in a sworn affidavit, filed in the High Court Registry on February 21, 2018, that he filled out an application form and was issued with a diplomatic passport of Dominica that lists his nationality as Dominican and on which he has traveled.

Section 28 of the Constitution stipulates that Members of the National Assembly must not, by virtue of their own act, be under any allegiance to a foreign power. This stipulation was bolstered by Dr. Douglas in 2009 when as Prime Minister he introduced the National Assembly Elections (Amendment) (No. 2) Act which penalizes Parliamentarians who are under foreign allegiance with imprisonment of up to 5 years and a fine of up to $30,000.00.[6] The next case hearing is scheduled for May 30, 2018.

Appointment to Privy Council[edit]

In 2011, Douglas was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council, with the prefix "Right Honourable" added to his name.[7][8] The Privy Council is a body of advisors to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom. They advise the queen in dispensing duties as a monarch. Before Douglas, Prime Minister Kennedy Simmonds was appointed a Privy Counselor in 1994.[9]

Laptops for high school students[edit]

In 2011, Douglas was responsible for the OLPC (One Laptop per Child) program, which provided 2,000 free laptops per year from Taiwan to high school students.[10]

Post-premiership[edit]

After losing the 2015 general election he has remained active in politics as leader of the opposition, most recently attacking the government's economic performance.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Puddington, Arch; Piano, Aili; Eiss, Camille; Roylance, Tyler; Neubauer, Katrina (2008-08-01). Freedom in the World 2008: The Annual Survey of Political Rights & Civil Liberties. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780742563063. 
  2. ^ a b East, Roger; Richard Thomas (2003). "Denzil Douglas". Profiles of people in power: the world's government leaders (Google book search) (1st ed.). London: Europa. pp. 439–440. ISBN 978-1-85743-126-1. LCCN 2004297732. OCLC 52634735. Retrieved August 12, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Denzil Douglas Biography - Began Political Career Early, Experienced Troubled Political Times, Won a Landslide Victory, Won a Third Term". 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2009. 
  4. ^ https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/st-kitts-and-nevis-prime-minister-shows-the-world-what-corruption-is-all-about/
  5. ^ http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-p-Report--US-confirms-revocation-of-Denzil-Douglas--diplomatic-visa--p---_18587278
  6. ^ http://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/local-news/brantley-blasts-douglas-diplomatic-passport-reasoning/
  7. ^ "Prime Minister Douglas appointed to Her Majesty's Privy Council". Office of the Prime Minister. Saint Kitts and Nevis. November 18, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ JCPC (1995). "Privy Council Members". Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Archived from the original on 2008-12-24. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "Winn FM (St. Kitts Nevis) News: SKN Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas appointed to Privy Council". stkittsweb.com. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  10. ^ "Taiwan Begins Laptop Programme for Students in St Kitts and Nevis". Caribbean Journal. 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  11. ^ Kelly, Seb (1 November 2017). "Harris has left St Kitts and Nevis 'thick with hopelessness', says Douglas". WIC News. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Kennedy Simmonds
Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis
1995–2015
Succeeded by
Timothy Harris