BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Deputy political leader of the opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Marcella Liburd raised the issue in the National Assembly on Friday 20, September pertaining to the office of prime minister, Dr Timothy Harris paying United States lobbyist Lanny Davis, US$106,000 (EC$286,200) for professional services in 2016, services which he said in 2015 were “free.”
Criticising the government’s poor record on good governance, St Christopher 2 (Central Basseterre) parliamentary representative accused Dr Harris, who is also the minister of finance, of concealing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 2018 Article IV Consultation on the economy of St Kitts and Nevis from the people.
Liburd accused prime minister Harris of misleading the country on the two payments made to the US lobbyist in 2016 and referred to documents posted on the US attorney general’s website which indicated that the first payment of US$52, 752 was paid by the office of the prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis to Lanny J. Davis & Associates, LLC of 1900 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; and the second payment of US$43,301 to Levick Strategic Communications, LP, of 1900 M Street, NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20036 for lobbying services.
Both payments received from the office of the prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis and were filed in compliance with the US attorney general’s FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) report to the United States Congress.
However, prime minister Harris on a point of order accused the Central Basseterre member of parliament, for coming to the parliament “with untruths.”
“There is only one entity that can make payment on behalf of the government, the accountant general. There has not been one cent, not one cent paid by the government of St Kitts and Nevis to Lanny Davis,” said Dr Harris, who did not make a request for Liburd’s statement on the Lanny Davis issue to be withdrawn.
When the issue was raised previously Harris had accused members of parliament on the opposition benches of “relying on hearsay” and of “going down a path of untruth and mischief.”
He had also labelled the posting on the US attorney general’s website “a concoction and imagination.”
Report of the attorney general to the Congress of the United States on the administration of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. of 1938, as amended, for the six months ending June 30, 2016 is available here.