Former St Kitts-Nevis PM blames sabotage for electoral defeat

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Former prime minister Dr. Denzil Douglas

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Thursday February 26, 2015, CMC – Former prime minister Dr. Denzil Douglas Thursday blamed acts of sabotage for the defeat of his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) in the February 16 general election.

Dr. Douglas in his first news conference since Team Unity, an amalgam of three political parties won seven of the 11 seats at stake in the general election, said that the sabotage had also extended to the flights carrying SKNLP supporters back to the twin island Federation to cast their ballots.

The former prime minister told reporters that the St. Kitts-Nevis constitution permits nationals residing overseas to return home to vote and that all political parties had encouraged their overseas supporters to do so in the past.

“The 2015 election was no exception,” he said, noting that while every single plane bringing supporters of Team Unity had arrived here with no complications, “a series of highly concerning and downright creepy developments repeatedly botched the arrival of our planes”.

He said passenger lists changed “mysteriously and repeatedly right before the eyes of Labour supporters as they were waiting to board various flights home.

“Pre-arranged, pre-approved, and completely agreed upon stops disappeared from planes’ schedules. Pilots at overseas airports were indicating to us that they had been denied landing rights for various places while those places were indicating to us directly that there were no problems whatsoever, and that the flights in question had, most certainly, been cleared to land.”

He said that the apartment of a key party individual had been broken into and his computer stolen.

“As though this was not enough, a bomb scare was actually called in on one of the flights on which our people were scheduled to travel,” he said, referring the incidents to the “dirty tricks” surrounding the Watergate break-ins in 1972 Presidential elections in the United States.

“I can say, without fear of contradiction, that had our flights, as well, been able to land, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party would now be continuing the tremendous work which has made St. Kitts-Nevis the bright spot of the region.

“However, we, who stand here before you, are strong. We are not easily distracted or discouraged. The facts surrounding all of these extreme peculiarities will most assuredly be brought into the full light of day. And we will continue to advance the interests of this country- our country as members of the Opposition in our National Assembly.” Dr. Douglas told reporters.

Dr. Douglas, who was seeking to become the first regional head of government to win five consecutive general elections, said thathe was also perturbed at developments occurring in the twin island Federation following the election results.

He said despite a “fiercely intense and indeed bruising election campaign” in 1995 when he first came to head a government here, he had allowed for various officials including the then personal secretary of the outgoing prime minister Dr. Kennedy Simmonds “to continue working in that capacity with me until she felt that she had completed whatever transitional responsibilities had to be take care of.

“It was my view that that was what basic human decency demanded. Based on that, I had assumed that my personal secretary, Ms. Beverly Knight, would be accorded the same courtesies. Instead, she was locked out from both her office and mine.

“She has been unable, despite her repeated entreaties, to retrieve either her personal belongings or mine from our offices, leaving us to ask exactly what this portends for the governance style” of the new administration.

The SKNLP leader said that his personal secretary is not alone in that regard with “countless civil servants” being denied access to their offices and indeed escorted from same by armed police officers.

“In addition to these developments, however, there remains certain substantive matters that must be resolved. The matter of the boundaries being key among them.”

Dr. Douglas said that both the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal as well as the High Court have affirmed that the process by which these boundaries were established was “legitimate, legal, and constitutional.

“And even though the Labour Party is not now in office, the grossly unequal state of the Federation’s current boundaries must, as a matter of priority, be corrected.

“The Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis cannot, and must not, go into yet another election with one constituency containing almost 8,000 inhabitants with another just over 2,000. This is a matter which simply must be attended to without delay,” Dr. Douglas told reporters.

He said he has left a St. Kitts-Nevis that had become the envy of the Caribbean in terms of its socio-economic development and was now prepared with his other opposition legislators to continue protecting “the interests of our two islands”.

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  • Tobias Bajanman

    It is amusing to say the least what the former PM is trying to say at this juncture. Doc, you were in government for four terms and you are now prioritizing the boundaries adjustment while in Opposition? Doc, you were the PM, with a majority, why did you not do that then? Fact is, that 8000/2000 worked for you then and it will beat the daylight out of you now, and so, it is a priority. Doc, give us a break.
    Secondly, why were your belongings and those of your secretary, still there? Doc, you were not kicked out of office the minute the results were announced. You had time and for whatever reason, you and your secretary decided to play around and now, you are locked out. Who is to blame? You Doc!
    And Doc, I believe you know very well that when governments change, there are certain positions that must yield to the new administration and vacate unless the new administration decide to keep them on…there’s one of sufferance and why you think your secretary should have been given some special consideration is beyond good sense, and I am sure she knew this as well. Yes, we know Doc, power is sweet and its sometimes difficult to give up especially when you believe that you have an alienable right to stay there. This is not so Doc.
    Lastly, Doc, it is expected that you and the remaining Opposition members will get in there and give the country the kind of balance it needs to keep moving forward. This is the best demonstration of appreciation you can show for the time you have been in office. Lastly Doc, please understand that the time is coming soon, when you will be put out to pasture, begin to prepare for that with gratitude even as you give your country the support it needs with your experience and intellect.. Selah.

    • fiddell69 .

      You have no idea what you are talkig about. Attempts to alter the unequal boundaries have been on-going since 2008-2009, which the Opposition has frustrated. This was not a sudden gerrymandering for the 2015 Elections.

      • Tobias Bajanman

        Well “fiddell699”, I heard you and have just a few questions to ask you: HOW LONG was Doc in power? How many TERMS? Your rebuttal speaks to the last seven years, I believe that leaves THIRTEEN YEARS before that, what happened fiddell69? You don’t think Doc had enough time and now, we are unkind to him, is that it fiddell69? Pl re-read the comment/note.

        • fiddell69 .

          Check out the History of the Boundaries Change Issue at: http://www.sknvibes.com and http://www.winnfm.com and elsewhere in order to educate thyself

          • Tobias Bajanman

            Mr. fiddll69, I think you are missing the point and appears not to be dealing with the issues. The question Sir, is this: you Pm served for FOUR TERMS, how much longer do you think he needed to have the boundaries regularized? Another ten years, fifiteen? Your Doc had a majority for 20 years, what is it that you are trying to defend?
            You didn’t mention his calling for his secretary to be kept on or they being locked out of their offices???

          • fiddell69 .

            Peace to thee: an Expert on St. Kitts-Nevis affairs….

          • Tobias Bajanman

            Well fiddell69, I am sorry your response is as narrow as it is. Was it unreasonable to wonder why the PM did not fix the boundaries after FOUR TERMS in office as A MAJORITY?
            Wasn’t it unreasonable for them not to have removed their belongings even after the results were in or should they have been allowed to continue as if nothing had happened?
            Fiddell69, I expected a little more openness from you even if you are a party man..I too, am a Party man but good sense is just that: good sense. Peace out.

          • fiddell69 .

            I assume you are lonely. I have no further comments.

          • Anderson Williams

            So what about the motion of no confidence? Would he have allowed it or was it only the fault of the Speaker? He cannot cherry-pick the things to speak about that seen favourable to him or that would have caused his demise.

  • Lol! Sore loser! Go siddong!