June 1, 2020
“I have examined all the persons available and I think that the Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party is the best person to lead the country at this time and in all circumstances, especially post-COVID-19 and taking the country forward”. These words, uttered by H.E. Sam Condor, former Deputy Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, capture the main theme of a homecoming and reconciliation event organized by the NextGen SKN Labour Party on Sunday, May 31, 2020.
During this interview, Dr. Denzil Douglas, flanked by Condor and Mr. Dwyer Astaphan, also a former Minister in the previous Douglas-led administration, engaged in a frank and candid discussion about the process towards healing of the relationship among long-time friends after a period of painful separation. “Lessons are learnt when friendships are broken. When friendship is repaired, there is no limit to what good can come from it,” said Douglas. “Reconciliation is important to the Labour Party, in order to assist it in healing…The concept of NextGen speaks to inclusiveness, as much as being modern, visionary and futuristic. We could not seriously advance all these things unless we went through this period of reconciliation and renewal …If the Party is to regain its former strength and glory, we must make sure that the factors which led to its weakening situation must be looked at and corrected. It is about building from where we were to where we need to be in the future. This is critical,” exclaimed the veteran political leader when asked why reconciliation was so important at this time.
This message of reconciliation at this stage is quite significant in the run up to one of the most controversial elections that has been faced in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, which is taking place in an atmosphere of intimidation and subterfuge perpetrated by the very person that both Condor and Astaphan broke ranks with the Labour Party to support.
“This decision [to support Dr. Denzil Douglas] was not a difficult decision to make…The miscreancy, the bad governance of Team Unity have helped to make reconciliation all the more easier…I do not believe that Harris or anyone in that group can shepherd us through the difficulties that will come…I don’t think that Team Unity has anywhere near the capability and commitment…I think that Harris has failed miserably…He is not interested in a good governance agenda. He is only interested in self-indulgence and self-advancement and that of his close friends. At this time when the people really need the help and the guidance and the country needs to be structured [Harris] neither has the inclination, nor the ability to carry us there…Based on its trajectory, Team Unity, once re-elected will be a massive endangerment to the best interest of this country…Another five years will only add fuel to the mismanagement and corruption that is taking place,” Astaphan explained emphatically.
“Team Unity had a wonderful opportunity in 2015 and COVID-19 also presented an opportunity and they failed on both counts. They do not have the kind of leadership that our country needs at this time…Looking at the Manifesto and hearing the Labour Party candidates speak, the Labour Party is convinced that the governance agenda is critical…You are not hearing that, not even as an intent from the present government to address the questions of good governance,” said Ambassador Condor.
Douglas in his closing remarks seized the moment to extend the olive branch of forgiveness and reconciliation to all supporters who broke ranks. “Let us all come back together, Labour is open. Let us all do it together and in one accord, find the new good,” he concluded.