Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Friday’s session of the St. Kitts and Nevis Federal Parliament was marked by a moment that clearly defined the present government’s intention to usher in a new sense of cooperation and good governance within the August body, and the country as a whole.
The moment occurred after Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Ecclesiastical and Faith-Based Affairs, the Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, completed his contribution on the second reading of the Evangelistic Faith Church Incorporation St. Kitts Bill, 2022 Opposition Member of Parliament representing Constituency #5, the Honourable Shawn Richards, rose to his feet and seconded the second reading of the Bill.
“It is not customary in this House to have a member of the Opposition stand and second the reading of a particular piece of legislation Madam Speaker, but indeed as a church coming from my Constituency, as a church that I can speak to in terms of the impact, in terms of the person who leads the church, it gives me great pleasure Madam Speaker to second the reading of this particular piece of legislation and to wish it safe passage,” Honourable Richards stated.
The Honourable Konris Maynard, Minister and Leader of Government Business in the Parliament, also commented on the moment while giving his full support to the Bill. He indicated that while in Opposition, his attempt to second the reading of an incorporation Bill of a church in his Constituency was blocked by a member on the then Government benches.
“You have ushered in a brand new day,” Honourable Maynard told Honourable Richards. “Although I rose to second the first reading, I was about to rise to second the second reading, and I saw that the Member for #5 had an interest. That is how democracy is supposed to work and good governance, and so we will continue to do that to show that we are serious about bringing our country together.”
Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representative for Constituency #8, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, thanked Honourable Richards noting that the show of support in the House is a welcomed departure from the frequent moments of contention in the past. Prime Minister Dr. Drew went on to commend the Evangelistic Faith Church for the service it gives to the community, and fully endorsed the Bill.
The Evangelistic Faith Church St Kitts Incorporation Bill, 2022, was passed on Friday, (November 04, 2022) with support from both sides of the aisle. Once gazetted, the Evangelistic Faith Church in Sandy Point will have the power to own land and otherwise have legal standing.