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Sir James Mitchell booms – Why is Camillo so silent?

Sir James Mitchell booms  – Why is Camillo so silent?

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Former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell and founder of the New Democratic Party has declared that ‘No Confidence’ motions are fundamental to a democracy and should take precedence over everything else.

He has also queried why Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves has not responded to allegations recently made against him.

Speaking on the OMG morning show on BOOM FM on Wednesday, Mitchell said he disagreed with the four lawyers who have publicly stated opinions on the manner in which the ‘No Confidence’ motion was handled in the House of Assembly on January 31.

“I respect the intelligence of the PM (Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves), I respect PR (Queen’s Counsel Parnell Campbell), I respect Alexis (Queen’s Counsel Dr Francis Alexis of Grenada) and I respect Linton (Dr Linton Lewis), but they have all in their own time, in my view, not always been correct on constitutional matters.”

Gonsalves, Campbell, Alexis and Lewis have all, in public statements, agreed that Section 47 of the Constitution contains a subsection which makes it possible for a majority of the House to decide if a motion of No Confidence should be debated. The four veteran attorneys also agree that a ‘No Confidence’ motion, like any other motion, may be amended and that a ‘Confidence’ motion and a ‘No Confidence’ motion are two sides of the same coin.

Mitchell’s belief is that the No Confidence motion should not have been ‘amended’, stating that a ‘Confidence’ motion is not an amendment.

“Where any motion is under consideration in the House, an amendment may be posed to the motion if it is relevant. RELEVANT,” he reiterated.

“Now, who decided what is relevant? The Speaker, nobody else,” Mitchell, who retired from active politics in 2001, said.

“A motion of No Confidence is not a motion of Confidence. A motion of Confidence cannot replace a motion of No Confidence,” he opined.

In commenting on the time that the motion was brought, that is, during the debate on the 2018 Appropriation Bill, Sir James stated, “When a motion of No Confidence is tabled, it is incumbent on the Government to prove that they have authority to bring a Budget.”

However, in response to the question on whether he believed that the ‘No Confidence’ motion would have succeeded, he responded, “You have to test it to see. I am not going to engage in prophecy.

“A motion of No Confidence is fundamental to our democracy,” he opined, “The motion of No Confidence is a way you bring down the Government….That takes precedence over anything else.”

The veteran politician, while on radio, also chastised Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves for not making a statement regarding his alleged involvement with model Yugge Farrell.

“Why is Camillo silent, why is Camillo not having a press conference?,” he asked.

“As a Government Minister, you should respond to allegations…because you have a responsibility to justify the morality of your position.

“The problem is, fundamentally, sending the girl to the mental institution,” Mitchell told the radio host, when he was asked what in particular, regarding the situation, Camillo should have responded to in Parliament.

Mitchell had further intoned, “If Farrell wins her case, as I expect she will,… but I’m not going to prejudge the court, but what I’m saying is, should she win, she is then entitled to sue the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”