Official Statement on Dissolution of Parliament by the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party May 13, 2020
My fellow citizens and residents,
The NextGen SKN Labour Party is very pleased that the outgoing Timothy Harris has finally decided to follow the constitutional mandate and has announced the proroguing of the National Assembly of St. Kitts and Nevis. I find it absolutely disgraceful, despicable and downright disrespectful that Mr. Harris would make his broadcast at 7 pm on Wednesday evening more than 24 hours after he claimed that the dissolution became effective. This sneaky and reckless behavior raises the question in the psyche of the nation, “what else is Harris hiding?”
This announcement has been long overdue. The five-year deadline since the last general elections has passed since February 15, 2020. Despite the many attempts by this regime to find loopholes to go around the Constitution, the loops cannot and will not hold. Today, the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis has spoken loudly, with authority and with finality. The Constitution will speak again on August 11, 2020 when the final curtain will come down on this deceptive and miscreant regime.
I am ever thankful that the Constitution is the Supreme Authority of our land and provides the necessary checks and balances that would frustrate any scheming by despots to perpetuate their time in power. For a government that has spoken so boastfully about its prospects for winning, the fact that it has allowed itself to lose the element of surprise and to let the clock run out on its term in office, speaks volumes. The writing is on the wall, and the government is mortally afraid of going back to the people.
Today, the Constitution has spoken!
The RULE OF LAW has prevailed here in St. Kitts and Nevis!
Today, the people of our beloved Federation can cease to be anxious and look forward to the future with excitement knowing that Hope and Help is on the horizon!
Come that bright Election Day morning the WILL OF THE PEOPLE of SHALL prevail in this our blessed land!
The last five years have not been easy for our people. Rampant corruption, nepotism and victimization have left many languishing on the margins of the national prosperity agenda. The Harris-led administration has had one focus and one focus only, which is to abuse the power afforded to them by the state to enrich themselves and their families; strip away at our systems of transparency and accountability and to secure for themselves an unfair political advantage by suppressing opposition voices. Scandal after international scandal has diminished the esteemed Office of the Prime Minister and tainted the image of our country regionally and internationally.
The Harris administration has had all the time and money that was needed to implement progressive policies and projects that would stimulate growth in our economy, enhance the wellbeing of our people and improve the quality of life of every man, woman and child. Instead, they have squandered all opportunities at every turn. All across our Federation, there is a palpable sense that we are a nation in decline and we are moving in the wrong direction.
Now, when the our nation is facing one of the worst public health crises the world has seen in over a century, this neglectful, incompetent and uncaring government continues to fail our people. The public health response has been erratic and haphazard with no commitment to mass testing that would effectively contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Yet the pandemic has been used as a cover to justify what is really the political decision to impose a six month State-of-Emergency in order to limit the freedom of movement of our people and grant the security forces broad powers of discretion and arrest far beyond what is necessary to successfully cope with its public health impacts. To restrict those freedoms at the most important time for such in a Democracy is a despotic act. Yes, by passing that resolution, Harris, just like despots in other parts of the world, has decided that we will have an election during a State of Emergency.
The mismanagement of the public health crisis has been compounded by the government’s failure to implement a comprehensive and holistic plan to deal with the economic fallout of the crisis. The forecast for Caribbean economies is bleak. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean has predicted that the effects of COVID-19 will cause the biggest recession that the region has suffered since 1914 and 1930. Specifically, the International Monetary Fund has projected that the ripple effects of the Global Health Crisis will cause GDP growth in St. Kitts and Nevis to contract by 8.1%.
Given that the pandemic began to shut down global travel as early as December 2019 and the belated closure in St. Kitts and Nevis on March 25, 2020, the Travel and Tourism industry has been especially hard hit. The economic crisis it has spurred has disrupted the lives of our people indiscriminately and has had a devastating impact on every business, large and small, and every worker regardless of which sector they are in. As a result, thousands have lost their jobs, lost income or are receiving no income at all. Countless others have been thrown into the breadline as a result of an inadequate government stimulus plan that has yet to put ONE DOLLAR into the hands of the people who need it the most. Our elderly and pensioners, the working poor and those who struggle to make a daily living in the informal economy have been left to drown with no social net to save them.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the many fault lines that could severely and permanently compromise/cripple the sustainable development of our country if swift action is not taken immediately. Loss of jobs and slower economic activity could push more people into poverty. Our health care system, which was already under unimaginable strain, may not be able to support the general health and wellness of the population if a second wave of COVID-19 cases were to arise. While all schools have closed and lessons have moved online, inequities and inequalities in education will be exacerbated due to unequal digital access and access to laptops and computers by teachers and students, a result facilitated by the government’s suspension of the One-to-One Laptop programme.
Just as it has exposed the fault lines in our sustainable development, the COVID-19 has also exposed the considerable weaknesses and ineptitude of the Harris-led coalition administration. The national COVID-19 Emergency Response has excluded more people than it has included, and has been devoid of the human empathy, altruism and compassion that would truly impact lives.
This is a very, very serious crisis and there is need for serious, focused and courageous leadership if our country is to adeptly navigate its worst effects and successfully bridge to better days. It is for this reason and more that the upcoming general election is critical now, more than ever. Decision 2020 represents one of the most important decisions on leadership that our nation has ever faced since 1993. This COVID-19 imperative brings into serious perspective the vital need for a date for the election to be announced as soon as possible following the dissolution of Parliament.
Setting a date for the election as early as possible is absolutely vital in order for the relevant authorities to effectively plan for an election day scenario that makes it possible for all registered citizens to exercise their franchise and for the voting process to be conducted in keeping with the social distancing and sanitization protocols required by this crisis. Best practices around the world testify that that in order to ensure that elections are conducted in a manner that is free, fair and inclusive of all voters – whether they are quarantined or not; whether they are sick or not – a national Plan of Action must be put in place as far in advance as possible. To delay the setting of a date for the election is to put lives at risk and to erect barriers to the exercise of the democratic rights of the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The pathway to eradicating the COVID-19 from our shores and reducing and mitigating the negative fallout of its economic impacts will be very, very challenging. It is therefore mandatory that the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 be managed by a Government that has full powers in order to execute a long-term strategy for economic recovery. St. Kitts and Nevis cannot afford to deal with the impending economic recession without a legitimate, competent and compassionate Government in place, one that can commit one hundred per cent to putting our economy back on track and getting our people back to work in the shortest timeframe possible. St. Kitts and Nevis cannot afford to have the attention of the Government to be split, or worse, wholly focused on securing its political interest in the upcoming general elections.
Our people must come first over politics! Therefore the sooner the general elections are dispensed with, the better for our people. In places where the right leader has put in place the right policies, the people suffer less. The time has come to put an END to the suffering of our people!
The NextGen SKN Labour Party has been preparing itself over the last five years for such a time as this. We have the track record in astute crisis management and we have already devised a plan to find a strategic pathway to take our country safely and successfully through this crisis. We have already established an Economic Recovery Advisory Council that will advise our Party as to the various approaches that can be taken to ensure that our economy is restored to global competitiveness and that our people and businesses not only survive, but also thrive in the new post-COVID environment.
WE in the NextGen SKN Labour Party are confident that what is best for St. Kitts and Nevis lies on the other side of this crisis and we are determined to find and hold-on to the COVID-silver lining. Similarly, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis can rest assured that Hope, Opportunity and Relief are on the way with the NextGen SKN Labour Party!
WE will use the help and good will of the international community to revolutionize our public health and primary health care systems.
WE will attract new partnerships and investment in order to diversify our economy to take advantage of the opportunities created by this global crisis.
WE will achieve a better normal for our workers that is flexible, fair and future-ready.
WE will build multidimensional resilience in our people by empowering them to create intergenerational wealth.
WE will provide competent, creative, innovative, inclusive and accountable leadership that will restore St. Kitts and Nevis to its pride-of-place as a regional leader and success story.
WE will make St. Kitts NUMBER ONE AGAIN!
As the general election approaches I want to remind our people that the fate of our country literally lays at your index finger-tip. Do not give up your power and use your power wisely!
I know that our people are excited about the future. They are anxious to exercise their voting rights. They are dead set on choosing the right leadership and the right team, with the best hands on experience to manage this public health crisis and lead them with proven success through the tough economic times that lie ahead!
VOTE LABOUR if you want to make St. Kitts and Nevis FIRST again!
VOTE LABOUR if you want to harvest your dreams and secure a prosperous future for yourselves, your families and future generations!
As I speak I KNOW that the national mood for a wind of change IS UNSTOPPABLE!
I thank you!
LABOUR DAY ADDRESS TO THE NATION by the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party
My Fellow Citizens and Residents,
Happy Labour Day!
Today is a Labour Day like no other. The onset of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about life as we know it here in St. Kitts and Nevis. Along with the public health crisis it has engendered, this pandemic has also brought with it a forced economic recession that may be the worst our nation has ever experienced since its Independence in 1983.
In just four short months this pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live and work in our society: from quarantines to 24-hour lockdowns; to home-based work; to remote learning; to physical distancing; and to cancelled entertainment and sporting events. Of all these effects, the worst has been the very serious impact and the toll that this crisis has taken on our nation’s workers.
The closure of all ports-of-entry and disruptions in global supply chains have had a devastating impact on our nation’s economy. So many have become unemployed or are receiving no work as a result – from those who are directly connected to our travel and tourism industry such as our hotel workers, taxi drivers, hair-braiders and other hospitality service providers to those young women working in the manufacturing sector. There are also those self-employed in the formal and informal economy as lawyers and event planners, entertainers and DJs, private pre-school teachers, athletes, landscapers, bartenders, barbers and hairdressers. All across the spectrum of our workforce, our people are hurting.
Many in the hotel industry have not received wages and salaries for over two months. Others in the manufacturing sector and non-essential businesses are working on severely reduced hours that can barely meet the daily costs of feeding, clothing and housing their families. Many of our self-employed service providers and small business men and women have seen their sources of income dry up completely.
Today on this Labour Day 2020, our thoughts, prayers and support go out to Workers all across the nation.
Special prayers go out to our healthcare and frontline workers in particular and those who perform essential services. These are our doctors, nurses, hospital orderlies, cleaners and EMT staff, our bank clerks, our customs, SCASPA and immigration officers, police officers and defense force soldiers, sanitation officers, utility and maintenance service providers, our parks and beaches clean-up crews, supermarket staff, small farmers, fisherfolk and the hundreds of others who risk their lives daily to ensure that the basic health, economic, environmental and social rhythms of our country continue seamlessly and harmoniously.
Our country on a regular basis, owes all of you a debt we can never repay, but especially so during this COVID-19 pandemic.
You, our workers, are the true heroes of our nation. It is upon your shoulders that the cross of this pandemic is being borne. This notwithstanding, the COVID-19 has also illuminated the true value of the work that they do and the critical role that our workers play as the ladder upon which our economy will begin to climb again to its previous heights.
Today I want our workers to know that the NextGen SKN St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, which was nurtured from the bosom of the Labour Movement, knows and sees the value of our workers. Today, all across the nation our people are marching-in-place, they are marching “whey dey be” in celebration of our workers!
YOU are truly the heroes of our great Federation as we battle for our survival and YOU deserve that Medal of Honour and Excellence!
So today, I pledge to you, as the Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party that, under a NextGen SKN, what you have sown in tears, by the hand of a neglectful, incompetent and uncaring government, you will, one day very, very soon, reap in joy!
We have heard your cries and appeals for assistance!
I give you the assurance that our Party has the plans and ideas that will put our people back to work as swiftly as possible. It is for this very reason that we have established an Economic Recovery Advisory Council that will guide our country back to global competitiveness in the shortest time possible.Our Party in government will also ensure that our workers are compensated for the risks that they have taken during this crisis and for the inordinate burden that they are bearing.
We will introduce new policies and measures that will prepare for a better post-COVID future. And how will we do this?
We shall do so by ensuring that:
Firstly, the environment for our workers is FLEXIBLE enough for workers to thrive, as businesses and industries are disrupted. To this end, we shall
- introduce flexi-hours for civil servants;
- provide financial assistance through a form of Unemployment Insurance provided by a revamped Severance Fund;
- provide loans and grants to small businesses to preserve employment and help them stay afloat;
- provide temporary payroll and other forms of support to allow small businesses to recover and assist large companies experiencing economic difficulties to fully re-engage workers who have been laid off or who have had their hours shortened.
Secondly, the environment must be FAIR enough through a phased increase in the Minimum Wage taking into consideration the interests of both workers and employers. We shall also increase salaries and wages for our Public Servants in anticipation of the boom in productivity as our people return to work with fresh energy and enhanced credentials.
Thirdly, the environment must be FUTURE-READY enough by providing support to entrepreneurs who create jobs while investing in our people and local companies and small businesses through training and incentives that will boost their confidence to seize opportunities, take risks and innovate.
Our NextGen SKN Labour Party will ensure that the 2020 Global Health Crisis marks a positive turning point in the progress towards shaping a better normal for our workers. Today, our Party stands in solidarity and cooperation with our workers. Together we will build a future of work that tackles the injustices that this pandemic has highlighted and that will respond to the challenges of climate, digital and demographic changes.
Before I close, I want to pause a moment to honour the fallen heroes of not only the Labour Movement, but also those who are our National Heroes and Independence National Honorees and Awardees who worked tirelessly to bring dignity, honour and fairness to workers and our nationals generally here in our Federation. It is to their unwavering dedication and perseverance that the struggle for better working conditions, compensation and dignity for our people were won! It was by their sacrifice that our workers and employees in general, achieved Severance Pay, Minimum Wage, 8-hour work day and 40-hour work week in both the public and private sectors.
It is also through their activism, that the dreams and aspirations of a downtrodden people were taken into the political arena, and through the exercise of legislative power were able to create the changes that led to the humanization, social and economic advancement and prosperity of our people.It is because of these stalwart leaders and others that the NextGenSKN Labour Party can stand today, 87 years later, and declare that St. Kitts and Nevis is the House that LABOUR built!
Our Party has been behind of, in front of and a part of every major economic and social policy that has revolutionized our country! We have the track record of crisis management that has steered the Ship of State successfully through turbulent waters time and time again. So rest assured, the NextGenSKN Labour Party will successfully navigate our country through the worst effects of this present challenge. WE SHALL ensure that our great Federation will emerge on the other side of this crisis STRONGER AND BETTER THAN EVER! We have done it before and we shall DO IT AGAIN!
Today, let us join hands in solidarity with Workers all across the nation knowing that our country cannot rebuild and recover without the hard work of our workers. Before we can reap the reward there must be Labour. In order to harvest our dreams, our people must ELECT LABOUR!
Today, let us March-in-place, “March whey you be”, MARCH ONWARDS to VICTORY! ONWARDS to the joyous daybreak of a prosperous future filled with Hope, Opportunity and Success for ALL Our People!
In spite of the State of Emergency, Happy Labour Day!
In spite of the State of Emergency, LONG LIVE the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party!
In spite of the State of Emergency, LONG LIVE the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union!
Address By the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L Douglas, Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party In Observance Of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2020
Fellow Citizens and Residents,
Today, 3rd May 2020 is World Press Freedom Day and on behalf of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, I take this opportunity to renew my party’s commitment to press freedom, not only in St. Kitts and Nevis but throughout our Caribbean region and the world at large.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendations of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, May 3, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.
The theme of this year’s celebrations is “Journalism without Fear or Favour” and the United Nations informs us that May 3 acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom. It is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. It is an opportunity to:
Celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom;
Assess the state of press freedom throughout the world;
Defend the media from attacks on their independence; and
Pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “As the (COVID-19) pandemic spreads, it has also given rise to a second pandemic of misinformation, from harmful health advice to wild conspiracy theories. The press provides the antidote (which is) verified, scientific, fact-based news and analysis.”
Here in St. Kitts and Nevis, as in December 1993, we live in an environment where the government of the day continues to attack freedom of the press and freedom of access to the press using many machinations and other means of suppression. Dissenting views are not tolerated and are routinely denounced as fake news, whilst pronouncements in favour of the government, however fictitious, are promoted as fact.
We have seen this before. Many will recall that in December 1993, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party was fighting an ongoing battle for press freedom with the government of the day. The Labour Spokesman was routinely attacked, the printery was set on fire and even a notice board attached to Masses House was taken down by the police. Our party was denied access to ZIZ Radio and Television whilst on the other hand, the government shut down all other channels whenever the Prime Minister made a television address to the nation.
When the Labour Party was returned to power in 1995, only two radio stations, one television station and three newspapers existed in St. Kitts and Nevis. They were ZIZ, VON Radio, The Labour Spokesman, The Democrat and the St. Kitts-Nevis Observer. Under my leadership, strong promotion, and belief in press freedom, that number rose to three newspapers and at least eight radio stations. When we left office in 2015, in addition to the three newspapers and ZIZ, there were VON Radio, Freedom FM, KYSS FM, WINN FM, Dominion Radio, Sugar City FM, Radio St. Kitts-Nevis and SKN Vibes, along with a host on online media entities.
Our record on press freedom is therefore quite clear and it is an enviable one that speaks for itself. Today, the government’s actions against the press speaks volumes. Prime Minister Harris has even gone so far as to take Freedom FM to court over what most people reportedly believe to be a politically motivated attack on free speech. Using fake social media profiles,the Harris government and its agents have also launched vicious attacks against female journalists with whom they disagree. And, as in 1993, our party is granted very limited access to the national media whilst the government abuses its power by regularly using ZIZ as its political campaign propaganda tool.
I want to remind our citizens that a free press is one of the strong pillars upon which any democracy is built and the absence of press freedom is one of the first steps toward dictatorship.
As the time to make choices draws near, I urge you to let the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party’s demonstration of respect for Journalism without Fear or Favour, freedom of speech and freedom in general, be one of the issues that guides you to make the right decision.
I wish all our media personnel a very happy and productive World Press Freedom Day 2020.
Dr. Denzil L. Douglas: The Government has More than Enough Time to Prepare for an Election Under Social Distancing Protocols
Pointing out that the COVID19 coronavirus – has introduced a new norm in St Kitts and Nevis, Political Leader of the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L . Douglas said Tuesday that if people can line up to shop at supermarkets and pharmacies and do business at banks, they can also line up to vote in the next general elections while observing social distancing.
Dr. Douglas in answer to a question, is seen as a response to a recent statement on Monday by Attorney General and Minister responsible for elections, Sen the Hon. Vincent Byron Jr, that the COVID-19 crisis should place general elections which must be held in St Kitts and Nevis by August 14, 2020 “on the back burner.”
“Every crisis has its unique and distinctive features and this pandemic calls for social distancing, the requirements of which do not prove an insurmountable obstacle that cannot be easily and effectively managed in an election scenario,” Dr. Douglas told listeners.
“If our people can line up to shop for groceries, go to the pharmacy and to the bank, they can line up to vote in exercise of their democratic freedoms. Our people love our democratic freedoms just as much as they love food to eat, medicine to make them well and money in the bank to buy the food and buy the medicine. They will line up to vote. They will line up and they will distance themselves six feet apart. They will be gloved up and masked up in order to vote,” said Dr. Douglas.
“Let us not fool ourselves. And so we have to examine carefully what we are being told by those who seem to have some kind of sinister agenda. Let us be very careful. The authorities have more than enough time to prepare,” said Dr. Douglas.
He is of the firm view that in light of the ‘new norm,’ the conduct of the next general elections “will have to be different.”
He noted that although the life of the current National Assembly ends on 14th May 2020 and time is short, “we are going to have our elections conducted in the next few weeks under conditions of social and physical distancing.”
“Each of us will have to wear a mask as we approach the polling station and as we take the ballot paper from the Presiding Officer … This is the new normal. Each of us voting might also have to wear gloves to handle the pencils which we may discard after making our “x.” In other words, life has changed and even though the period of time is relatively short for our upcoming elections, we had better begin to understand that social distancing and a limit on the numbers of people allowed to vote at each polling station will have to be instituted if we are going to obey the new realities that have been brought upon us by COVID-19,” the former prime minister said.
“We may even have to look at how we are going to vote. It may take one, two or three days. This is a situation where the rule of law and good governance are of critical importance. This is a paradigm shift that would have taken place as a result of the pandemic,” said Dr. Douglas.
In a direct reference to Prime minister Dr .Timothy Harris’ assertion that St Kitts and Nevis is at war in the fight against COVID-19, Dr. Douglas said: “We are not in any war. There are some people who would want you to believe that we are at war, but we are not at war in this country. We are still a blessed and peaceful country, but the realities are that certain changes would have to be made because of COVID-19 and its lingering effects that will last a prolonged period of time.”
The NextGen candidate for Constituency #6 also suggested that persons who are employed in essential services such as police officers, defense force soldiers, nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers generally, will need to vote early if they are to carry out their duties while exercising their rights as citizens to vote.
“These are some of the things we would have to consider. We will need more agents, more poll clerks, etc. to manage the (election) exercise,” Dr. Douglas said.
The points raised by the veteran political leader comes at a time when elections have been held in the State of Wisconsin in the United States and nation-wide general Parliamentary elections in South Korea have been held despite the coronavirus outbreak.
Easter Message to the Nation – by Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party
April 12, 2020
My fellow citizens and residents,
Easter time is always a special time for the People of our Federation. It is a time of deep tradition when we cook our special Easter meal of saltfish, coconut dumplings, ground provisions and “konke”. It is a time when we tend to gather in parks, pastures and cane fields around our nation to participate in Easter egg hunts and fly kites with our children.
It is also a time when we all pause in collective reflection to put life into eternal perspective as we ponder the awesome message of the Cross. The Cross for our Christian nation is a powerful symbol of God’s Love, Grace and Mercy to a world searching for meaning. It also offers a profound reminder of the constant and enduring presence of the Almighty walking among us in times of difficulty. The message of Hope and Rebirth that is captured in the story of the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ is needed now more than ever.
The public health crisis that we face in the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic also brings with it a forced economic recession that has created much disruption, hardship and anxiety for our people. On this Easter Sunday, I want to encourage us all to find Peace and Divine Reassurance that as Christ conquered death and grave, so too, with God’s help, our nation will overcome this latest challenge. Although we are all forced to stay in our homes over this long Easter weekend, we remain united by Love for one another and the Spirit of Easter. As co-creators with God, we stand firmly on the Divine Promise found in the Holy Bible in the book of Jeremiah Chapter 29 verse 11 – that God’s plans for us as His people are to Prosper us and not harm us. Rather, His plans are to give us Hope and a Brighter Future.
Although our Parks and Churches may be empty this Easter weekend, we stand reassured that the Tomb is empty as well. There is therefore no need to fear, but to look to the future with high expectation and anticipation, knowing that what is best for our nation is on the other side of this public health crisis.
Let us use this time to pray for healing in our land. Let us pray for the many people who perform essential roles on the frontlines. Let us pray for our elderly, our shut-ins and the most vulnerable among us. The Easter story is our confirmation that this latest challenge has already been defeated. We must have faith that God will protect our people. We shall emerge from this crisis as one people, resurrected to the glorious light of a new day.
Happy Easter to all,
May God Bless our great Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis!
Update on the COVID-19 Crisis and its Impacts – Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party
March 25, 2020
My fellow citizens and residents,
I pray that this broadcast finds you and your families in good health and you are taking all the necessary precautions to avoid contracting and spreading the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease which has now impacted this entire region and the world. We must do what we can to prevent infection and contain the spread of this deadly virus.
And so we thank Almighty God that to date, there have been no announced infections and no deaths in this Federation. We must all continue to pray for God’s blessing and grace upon us. However, we cannot be naive and expect that we will escape what most countries in this world are already facing! The truth is that it is only a matter of time before we are confronted with our own case or cases of COVID-19. That is a truth we must be ready and prepared to face!
In order for us to face the truth, our government must tell us th truth. Our government must be open and transparent. We the citizens and residents must be kept informed about what steps our government is taking to protect us and save lives. Our government must tell us what steps we must take to help protect ourselves and save lives. We are all in this together. COVID-19 is an equal opportunity virus. It cares not for our political affiliation or ethnicity. It cares not whether we are rich or poor. It cares not whether we are young or old. It cares not whether we are employed or unemployed. It cares not whether we are in government or in opposition.
That is why I have pleaded with the government to put together a National Task Force comprising representatives of all stakeholders in the society to address this international pandemic. Instead, the government has chosen to go it alone, preferring instead merely to “consult” with stakeholders of its choosing. In the process, the government has excluded the Opposition Party in this country which represents a significant and sizeable portion of the population affected by this pandemic.
That is why I will continue to address this nation separately and ensure that the views and ideas of our Party on this pandemic are well known.
At this point I would also like to thank the public for expressing themselves so feely on social media and in other public forums. They have forced the PM to attempt to reply to their concerns and conceal the callous insensitivity that was so apparent in his address on Sunday night. Our people have demonstrated their power through social media and they should continue doing so.
The public health crisis caused by this pandemic is unfolding around us with tremendous speed. In the last few days, a number of our sister islands have now confirmed a number of COVID-19 cases: Dominica has 7 cases; St. Lucia 3 cases; Antigua 3; Trinidad & Tobago 53; Barbados 17; United State Virgin Islands 17; Saint Martin 8; Grenada 1; Montserrat 1; St. Vincent and the Grenadines 1;
We have all heard and read about the huge numbers of confirmed cases as well as deaths in some of the countries in which we have relatives and friends: the USA, UK, Canada, Dominican Republic , to name a few. These figures are mindboggling.
The steps being taken to control and stop the spread of the virus are also ever changing and becoming more and more urgent and drastic. Just within the last 72 hours the government of St. Lucia declared a state of National Emergency in the country. In Dominica, the government has ordered the closure of all night clubs and sporting facilities; public gatherings above 10 persons have been suspended; so too has in-person access to non-essential public services
Trinidad and Tobago is under lockdown. That lockdown has resulted in citizens of that country being quarantined in Barbados because their government would not allow them to land in Trinidad.
The United Kingdom, Italy, and France are also under lockdown. We have all been hearing about what has been happening in the United States as well as in Canada.
Right here in St. Kitts and Nevis, the adverse consequences of this pandemic are being felt, even while our government remains silent and missing in action: the tourism industry has been shut down. Cruise ships have disappeared and those of our citizens who relied on that industry for their livelihoods are quickly using up whatever savings they were able to put aside in the past. Airlines are also discontinuing flights as international airports around the world are shutting down. American Airlines has suspended all flights to St. Kitts and Nevis.
The hotel sector is quickly shutting down and hoteliers are reducing their operations as their occupancy levels have decreased considerably, if not totally vanished.
A huge part of our services sector relied almost exclusively on the tourism industry. With that industry in virtual collapse, there is much loss of employment and income for those of our people who earn their living from these jobs.
Yesterday’s address by the Prime Minister was not only late but woefully inadequate and disappointing. The information provided for the first time on the number of tests, the results of the tests especially in light of the large number of persons quarantined, raised more questions than they have answered.
The economic stimulus package has been promoted as a $120 million stimulus package but he has not provided the cost of the various elements of the package. However, on closer scrutiny it doesn’t seem to add to $120 million.
At first glance, it seems that the Government will rely primarily on capital projects to provide growth over the next few months. We must insist on greater transparency and competitiveness in the award of contracts if most of this money is to benefit our people and not end up in the pockets of a favoured few. Our people must resort to social media to report wrongdoing. This is our country and if a vast amount of our tax dollars is continually siphoned off, our people will suffer the consequences.
In virtually every country of the world, they have recognized that there is a huge risk that many businesses will go under. Hence much of the support has been directed to assisting the private sector as a whole and small businesses in particular. In the package announced by the Prime Minister, there is no such support for our businesses sector. The so-called package of $120 million contains only peanuts for those of our businesses that are most at risk. This will have disastrous consequences.
The reduction of corporate tax and unincorporated business tax for three months will not yield any relief because over that period most of our businesses are likely to incur losses and would not have any income on which to pay tax.
The postponement of property taxes until September would only delay the burden. After September when, hopefully, people are trying to recover from the impact, they will be faced with accumulated property taxes.
The Government is granting a waiver for water bills which are usually a small percentage of household expenditure but only a moratorium for electricity. It means that the burden is being deferred and not reduced. So our people will still have to pay the accumulated arrears after the end of the moratorium.
Similarly, the moratorium in respect of the Development Bank and NHC should be structured such that the borrowers would not be called upon to make increased payments at the end of the moratorium. This can be achieved by either an extension of the term of the loan or a waiver of such obligations over the specified period.
The Government will actually reward corporations that lay off as much as 25% of their workforce by reducing their corporation tax. This suggests that the Government actually condones the layoff of 25% of our workers. It is a clear signal of what the Government finds acceptable. But that is not acceptable to us.
Most of our hotels and tourism-related enterprises have already laid off hundreds of workers and if every other corporation in our Federation, whether they are directly affected by the coronavirus or not, lays off 25% of their workforce, the effect on our economy would be catastrophic. The aim of the Government should be to keep all of our workers employed through payroll support or through programmes like our most impactful short term work experience programmes. Unfortunately, there is no such initiative in the package. For a worker to get financial support he must contract the coronavirus disease.
It is also vital that that these assistance programmes for workers are administered in a structured and programmatic way to ensure maximum efficiency and avoid discrimination and victimization.
My fellow citizens and nationals, this is a national crisis of immense proportions. It requires an equally robust and aggressive response to overcome the public health crisis, and militate against the economic decline which accompanies it. It requires bold, imaginative and collective leadership. Sadly, this leadership has not been forthcoming. Sadly, there has been more concern for public relations and political posturing, than a sincere and diligent approach to crisis planning and management.
The time has now come for more decisive leadership. We cannot and should not wait for the announcement of confirmed cases or even deaths for us to take the steps which every other country is already taking, to ensure that we put ourselves at the front of the line in bending the curve of COVID-19, and ensuring the integrity and sustainability of our health system; as well as protect the lives of our doctors, nurses, other health providers and all other first responders who are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic.
There are steps which we can and should take NOW.
There is a need for the authorities to establish the importance of and firmly enforce public adherence to clear rules for social distancing in our schools, institutions and work places in order to prevent ad hoc, misguided responses that may not work in the public’s interest.
This is the stage at
which we need to ascertain, through an expansive testing drive, whether the
virus is already among us. We need to
ensure that all persons who arrive at our borders especially those coming from
high-risk countries are tested in order to confirm their status as a starting
point to detect, trace, manage and contain the virus. That is why there is a
dire need for greater transparency in the release of information pertaining to
the number of persons who have been quarantined and tested and what the results
have been. As has been advised by our
leading Health institutions such as the World Health Organisation, the key to
containing the virus at this stage is to “test, test, test”.
This is the only way to arrive at an accurate assessment of the
situation here on the ground in St. Kitts and Nevis. As well, I repeat my call for the government
to absorb the cost of testing as part of its national emergency response and
budget to ensure that maximum participation in this effort. Financial considerations must never trump our
public health imperatives.
Economic Stimulus Package
There is an urgent need for an economic stimulus package to assist workers as well as employers and businesses in these very difficult times.
We propose the following immediate initiatives:
- Introduction of and payment of Unemployment Benefits to all persons who have lost their employment as a result of this pandemic. These payments should begin immediately, made retroactive and should last for the entire duration of the pandemic.
- Provision of Direct Payroll Support to all tourism-related businesses, including Hoteliers, Restaurants, Bars, and Travel agents to encourage them to keep people employed.
- Provision of Direct Income Support to Taxi Drivers, Public transportation Buses, Tourist vendors and other hospitality industry based businesses to ensure that they can meet their business related expenses during this period.
- Suspend payment of VAT, corporate income tax and unincorporated business taxes by all businesses for the period.
- Reduce the cost of electricity by 50% for the months of March, April, and May (in the first instance) for All consumers.
- Provide a moratorium on principal and interest payments to customers of the St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank and the Development Bank for at least the next three months, in the first instance. Negotiate a similar arrangement with all other financial institutions in the country.
The loss of jobs in the tourism sector and the drastic slowdown in the service industry business and the cessation of international carrier traffic among other effects has the potential to deal a severe blow to our economic survivability.
The NextGen SKN Labour Party has therefore taken a policy decision to immediately appoint from its ranks and also from amongst experts from the financial and economic fraternity a special Council to advise the new Labour administration with respect to an economic stimulus programme to jumpstart the economy at the beginning of our new term in office. The Council will consist of professionals with expertise in specific areas such as finance, economics, health, tourism and manufacturing.
I am pleased to learn that our government has reached out to friends in the international community such as the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC), Cuba and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, for technical, personnel, supplies and material support. I would like to thank Dr. Terrance Drew, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party’s candidate for strongly advocating that this step be taken as part of our national preparations and response.
It is my hope that moving forward our national response will be a proactive response that puts our people above politics in order to make a reality of independent proposals that assist and protect our people. I continue to call on our faith-based and non-governmental organisations to enlist in this cause by providing community-based responses that would reach out to the most vulnerable in our society – our single mothers, our homeless and those suffering various forms of domestic abuse. I continue to challenge each of us to do our part in observing the guidelines for personal hygiene, in order to break the chain of any potential transmission to others. We welcome the steps that are now being taken to protect our elderly who are in public and private nursing homes, however more can be done to train and sensitize those heads of households who are the primary caregivers for their sick and elderly.
The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party will continue its public outreach activities on a constituency, by constituency basis, over the coming weeks and we look forward to engage you once again in the very near future.
My fellow citizens and residents,
I speak to you today at a time when we are all anxious and concerned about the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic that is creating crises around the world. While we in St. Kitts and Nevis await the announcement of any known case, we should nonetheless be aware, that it is only a matter of time. Therefore, it is extremely important and urgent that we prepare ourselves and be ready, not just to prevent the spread but to also to detect, manage and contain the transmission of this very contagious virus.
We are all aware that developments in relation to the spread of the deadly virus are changing rapidly, virtually by the minute, as countries around the world try to cope with its effects, not just on their public health system, but the economic, social and commercial impacts as well. Just recently, in North America, as well as in the Caribbean, Heads of government have made announcements and issued guidelines, about what is needed to prevent and manage the transmission of the disease. We need to ensure that we follow the best practices that are being used world-wide.
The health and economic impact of this pandemic on St. Kitts and Nevis will be immense and expansive. It has already affected our tourism industry and services sectors. It will continue to affect our businesses, especially our small businesses; our state institutions, our schools, our government offices, and more importantly, it can overwhelm our health institutions and our health system.
To address this pandemic effectively and minimize its adverse effects we must approach this together – all of us. This pandemic does not care about your political affiliation. It does not care about your ethnicity or whether you are a resident or a citizen. It cares not whether you are rich or poor, able or disabled. What is needed today is a unified approach setting aside all political and ideological differences and coalescing around a common and agreed strategy.
That is why, last week we called on the government to take a whole-of- government and whole-of-society approach by establishing a National COVID-19 Task Force, and we indicated our readiness and willingness to work with the authorities, the private sector and all social partners in order to save lives and to protect our people. We repeat today our call for our government to set up this National Taskforce consisting of experts from the infectious disease and medical fraternity, civil society and business community in order to develop a comprehensive national approach to address this issue.
We as a responsible party have ideas, as we suspect other groups have, as to the way in which this matter should be handled.
There are numerous steps and measures which have already been announced in other jurisdictions which may be considered in St. Kitts and Nevis. Perhaps the most important of these is the measure of social distancing. We must break the chain of transmission of any case that is among us already. This is essential and we must practice social distancing in our daily lives to overcome this crisis.
We urge the Harris administration, and the Prime Minister in particular to be proactive and forthright in addressing the people about the specific preparations that are being made and the protocols that are being followed.
Each of us must play our part. Personal hygiene is key in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore we should all practice the following, I remind you of these as a medical doctor:
- Wash our hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, specially after using the bathroom and before eating;
- We should cough into a tissue or flexed elbow;
- Avoid touching our faces, eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoid handshakes;
- Avoid large crowds and practice social distancing;
- We should clean and disinfect frequently objects and surfaces that are touched often;
- We should self-monitor and call the doctor’s office if we are unwell;
- We should use hand sanitizer with high alcohol content of at least 60%.
These simple tips can save lives. We commend all the institutions which have taken steps to practice social distancing.
While we take these personal steps and institutional steps to implement these guidelines, there is still a need for a national conversation to address the institutional and economic fallout from this pandemic.
The first and most immediate step that must be taken is to ensure that our health system is well resourced and equipped with the right technologies and well-trained staff. There is a critical need for more ventilators, respirators and ICU equipment. Our health care practitioners will be severely impacted, especially our doctors, nurses, cleaners and emergency personnel who will be at the front line of this fight. There might be a need to recall some of our retired nurses in order to assist with efforts. There is a desperate need for a hotline linked to the critical health personnel where people can give and receive information.
Where there are gaps and shortcomings we asking that the government SEEK HELP from our friends and partners in Taiwan, Cuba and around the Caribbean region which can provide the additional technical, logistical, material and technological support.
Then there is the financial and economic impact. There is no doubt that every citizen and resident will be affected. The closing of our schools and our day care centers close will impact our parents. The closing of our businesses will impact their employees and the many people who depend on their goods and services. The announcement by the cruise ships to suspend their itineraries in the Caribbean region will adversely affect our taxi drivers, restaurant workers and the thousands who work in our hotel and tourism sector. In light of the loss of employment we are urging the government of St. Kitts and Nevis to explore measures that would provide income support to our vulnerable citizens who will be disproportionately affected by the economic impact of the pandemic. We are calling on the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to institute price controls for a limited period to prevent price gouging on essential goods. Our businesses should seek to provide online options for purchasing and delivery of goods and services.
We also hope that at the time of recovery from this crisis appropriate stimulus measures, will be instituted to assist our businesses.
We would like to encourage our local banks to suspend payments on mortgages and student and other loans and to put a moratorium on penalties and late fees.
In the short term, we would like to urge the Harris administration to consider implementing a form of Unemployment Insurance that would provide a weekly, fortnightly or monthly stipend for individuals who may have lost their jobs as a result of downsizing – particularly those in the tourism and manufacturing sectors. Our people must be given the assurance that they will not be thrown out of their homes, their businesses will not be foreclosed on and students won’t lose their student loans. A rationing system may need to be put in place to ensure that we do not run out of food and other essential goods.
This is a time for our nation to come together, for our communities to come together and for us to all be our brothers’ keeper. We must resist the natural instinct to each look inward as to what we must do to secure the survival of ourselves and our families. This is not the Kittitian and Nevisian way. I urge us all to be considerate of others and to look out for those who are most vulnerable among us – the homeless, the mentally challenged, the elderly and shut-ins to ensure that they too are coping. And even our youths must remember that you can be vulnerable. We are a resilient people and we will overcome this latest challenge, but it will take discipline and adapting our way of life to the present context. It will take rising to a new normal that, it is my hope, will elevate all humanity to a new way of life and social and economic interaction that is more balanced, more fair, more empathetic and compassionate.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all, my fellow citizens and residents of our proud St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Parliamentary Opposition is very disturbed and concerned by the continued failure of the Harris administration to proactively address the looming threat of the Coronavirus COVID-19 arriving at our shores here in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Developments in relation to the spread of the deadly virus are changing rapidly, virtually by the minute, as countries around the world try to cope with its effects, not just on their public health system, but the economic, education and commercial impacts as well. In North America, the Trump Administration has requested that all cruise lines cease operations world-wide, and some international flights have been grounded. It is only a matter of time before major manufacturing and shipping routes may close down.
The health and economic impact on our country will be long term and of immense effect, particularly with regard to the impact on tourism, which is the main driver of our economy. There is no way of foretelling how long this crisis situation will last.
Within the Caribbean region, the virus has now spread to Jamaica, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Guyana, with Trinidad and Tobago possibly joining the list.
In the meantime, the Harris administration has demonstrated little leadership. This is a situation that cannot be left to the technocrats in the Ministry of Health alone. It will need a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, which includes the Opposition. All around the region, Heads of Government are providing the leadership by addressing their nations and providing a detailed plan of action that addresses the multiple aspects to the present crisis, whether it be in training, detection and prevention, monitoring and containment, to providing relief to the people whose livelihoods will be directly affected by the crisis or have their work-lives interrupted as a result. The government has been utterly silent for instance in terms of what contingency plan will be put in place for our students to continue their work remotely in the event that our schools are forced to close. With many students without laptops or access to personal computers in their homes since the suspension of the one-to-one laptop programme, what will the government put in place to ensure continuity of student life as we know it even under emergency conditions?
At this stage, with the coronavirus virtually at our doorsteps, if it is not here already, our country is at high risk of grinding to a complete halt socially and economically due to the ineptitude of the leadership in the Harris administration. At the same time, the Prime Minister continues to be distracted and beleaguered by internal strife and scandal within his coalition and to delay general elections that are long overdue, as of February 16, 2020. His priorities are simply not in the right place. He is single-minded about his intention to secure his personal victory. For instance, this is a time for the government to be taking a conservative approach to its fiscal spending in order to prepare for the rough days ahead. However the Prime Minister has been overspending on unimportant matters instead of conserving resources for this national crisis – such as shoring up our health infrastructure by first establishing a field hospital with the beds and equipment required to ensure that our few sick are not condemned to death but would be part of the percentage who should be able survive the disease.
The calling of the general elections may very well be the solution to the present crisis, to ensure that St. Kitts and Nevis can settle down under new leadership and provide focused attention to effectively dealing with the immediate and long term challenges ahead. The NextGen SKN Labour Party stands ready to lead. Our team continues to demonstrate daily that we have the competence, the compassion and the capability to take action in a way that delivers results and provides relief to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis along the way.
Over the coming weeks we will continue our outreach activities to sensitize the public about coping with and warding off the present crisis and will use our convening power to generate multi-stakeholder discussions and action on the issue.
Our nation is better when we work together. Our hearts and minds are with our already overstretched nurses, emergency personnel, customs and immigration officers and health officials who are all at the front lines of this challenge. But are they adequately prepared with the support of our Government? Our country has endured many daunting challenges in the past and we are confident that we will overcome this latest challenge. However, the key to success is leadership and a united, focused and rapid response. This is what the NextGen SKN Labour Party intends to provide over the coming weeks and months.
Dr. Denzil Douglas Shares Two Lofty Ideals That His Incoming Government Stands For: The Rule Of Law And The Creation Of Wealth For The People
In the spirit of expanding partnership with those in the diaspora and sharing good governance responsibility, the Political Leader of the NextGen St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party, Dr. Denzil Douglas (DD) outlined his leadership vision and governance strategy for the Federation.
Dr. Douglas sat down for an interview with award winning freelance journalist Beresford Mack (BM) and gave us these insights:
BM: Dr. Douglas, what are some of the things that you and your NextGen Labour team think are most important for an ordered society?
DD: My young and vibrant colleagues and I hold two goals and lofty ideas as sacred. First, the rule of law must be an essential ingredient in maintaining our democracy. When others have demonstrated a reckless disregard and disrespect for the dignity of the court, we respect the rule of law and the judiciary and take great pride in our long tradition of the fair administration of Justice.
Second, we believe that our in-coming government must create wealth through the enormous benefits we will be bringing to the good people of St. Kitts and Nevis on returning to government.
BM: What are some of the major projects that will create employment opportunities in construction and ignite sustained economic growth across all sectors of the economy starting in 2021?
DD: We are anxious to deliver a bridge between St. Kitts and Nevis, which will open big opportunities and create an economic zone at both ends of the island of St. Kitts. This project is designed to consolidate and expand our tourism industry especially with an emphasis in medical tourism.
We will also construct a highway from western Basseterre to the Whitegate Development area. This will bring us additional economic activity for the expansion of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College campus in Nevis and the western campus in St. Kitts, thus offering our young people a first-class education foundation nearer to their homes.
To further improve our infrastructure, we will build a brand-new airport terminal with several jet bridges to increase the number of new airlines that we will woo to our lovely Federation.
BM: What is NextGen Labour’s vision for sports development?
DD: The Next Gen SKN incoming government is also anxious to begin the construction of a National Sports Academy, through which our young, highly talented and skillful men and women will be prepared to compete professionally in basketball, soccer, tennis, netball, golf, volley ball, swimming, track and field and netball. They will also be prepared with the social graces, leadership skills, commitment to excellence and resilience, all important skills and attributes that they will need as productive citizens in their adult lives.
BM: How will local stakeholders benefit from this new economic development vision?
DD: Our building and construction policy is geared towards cooperation with local businesses and international investors so that we provide a fair and transparent framework of conditions which bring solid but sustainable benefits to everyone. Therefore, we envision resuscitating the La Vallee Development Project while at the same time complete the construction of three boutique hotels at Kittitian Hill and building a state of the art Technical Training Institute. I want our people to keep abreast of the latest knowledge and techniques in their fields to perform beyond expectations.
BM: What about healthcare?
DD: The Next Gen SKN incoming government is already engaged in dialogue with several players in the global healthcare industry to build a state of the art hospital, a medical complex, upgrade community clinics and integrate various medical and nursing programs to the deliver the best education and cutting edge health care services to our people. We must be better able to cope with and minimize the impact of global outbreaks on our citizens.
BM: I know that you are a staunch integrationist. What role do you see for St. Kitts and Nevis as a regional player?
DD: I want St. Kitts and Nevis to play a vital role in shaping regional politics and economics. I will promote the formation of a capital market as an important instrument to raise the finances to fund several of these major projects. My young, innovative and energetic team and I, envision our Federation working together with CARICOM and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to confront global challenges and share equal responsibility for adapting to new priorities and challenges as they arise.
Beresford Mack is a strategic communications consultant, award winning freelance journalist and social media marketing specialist. He has worked in the Caribbean, United Kingdom and the USA. He has won a Sony Radio award (which is described as the UK Radio Oscars) whilst working at London’s biggest Urban Radio Station Choice FM which has now been rebranded as Capital Xtra.
At a public meeting held on March 12, 2020, the political leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas referred to the Appeal Court’s ruling as a “Saul-like experience” when the Apostle was on the road to Damascus.
Following the 2015 general elections, the Timothy Harris administration, in what has been described as a naked act of political victimization, revoked Dr. Douglas’ diplomatic passport in spite of the fact that he is a distinguished statesman, having served the people of St. Kitts and Nevis as Prime Minister for twenty years and was now the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition of St. Kitts and Nevis. When the diplomatic passport was issued to him as a courtesy by the government of Dominica, the Harris administration used this as a pretext to initiate legal action under Section 28 of the Constitution of St. Christopher and Nevis.
The court of first instance ruled in favour of Dr. Douglas but was overturned by the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal on March 12, 2020 and ordered, among other things, that Dr. Douglas vacate his seat in Parliament immediately.
Dr. Douglas elaborated his views on the ruling at the public meeting, stating, “I strongly disagree with the ruling, but I will respect and abide by the Court’s decision. This ruling has brought us closer to the election that Timothy Harris is mortally afraid to call whether it takes place through a by-election or a national general election.”
Douglas made it clear that he intends to compete in any election in Constituency Number Six (6). “The Court has baptized me anew with the power of the people. Before its ruling I was the Right Honorable Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, the elected representative of Constituency Number Six and Opposition Leader of St. Kitts and Nevis. But now I am Dr. Denzil Douglas, the Political Leader of the NextGen SKN St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and a proud and enthusiastic NextGen SKN candidate for Constituency Number Six,” he stated to the jubilant crowd.
Implicit in Douglas’ comments is the idea that “a bad wind never blows”, especially now that the national mood is in favor of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party returning to serve the interests of every citizen and resident in the Federation. Last night’s rally drew a record-breaking crowd for this stage of the political season, with hundreds gathered in the streets of Fig Tree on walls and roof tops. There was also widespread support on social media with over 1000 viewers watching the Labour Party’s live stream. Throughout the evening, scores of supporters and party faithfuls showered Dr. Douglas with expressions of love and affirmation. Several voters were heard saying: “Tell them to call the election now, now that the court ruled and everybody is back on board.”