St. Kitts Governor General Retirement Occurs 17 Days Earlier At PM’s Request

On Tuesday a new Governor General was sworn after new administration admitted that Sir Edmund Lawrence’s retirement took effect two weeks early at Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris’ request. Replacing Sir Edmund is Samuel Weymouth Tapley Seaton Q.C, who acted as his deputy. Even though his retirement date had been approved to be the 31st of May, the government announced that it would be brought forward to the 14th of May instead. The post was however held by Sir Edmund for just over two years.

In an statement that was issued on Tuesday by the Harris administration, they said: “Her Majesty The Queen had previously given her consent and approval since 13th March, 2015 to Sir Edmund’s request to retire effective 31st May, 2015. However, as of today’s date 19th May, 2015 the Palace has now informed Sir Edmund that on a formal request from the Prime Minister, Dr. The Honourable Timothy Harris, the retirement date has been brought slightly forward to 14th May, 2015.”

Initially, Sir Edmund had refused to swear in Harris after the February 16, 2015 general elections was won by Team Unity, a coalition of the Concerned Citizens’ Movement, the People’s Action Movement, and the People’s Labour Party. He said he was unable to make this move until he had a hard copy of the election results from the supervisor of elections, Wingrove George, to view. The swearing took place afterwards.

The prime minister said that at the first sitting of Parliament on the 14th of May following Team Unity’s election victory, Sir Edmund was also absent because he had requested and was granted leave from May 12 to 17.

His attendance was covered and his Throne Speech was delivered by Seaton. The opening was boycotted by the opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), levelling several allegations against the government, which included that Attorney General Vincent Byron had manipulated the circumstances that led to Sir Edmund’s absence from Parliament.

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