St Kitts minister dismisses calls for a government of national unity

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, Thursday May 2, 2013 – A senior member of the St Kitts-Nevis government has brushed aside opposition calls for a government of national unity.

“We don’t want any unity government in St Kitts and Nevis. We want to remain a stable country. I don’t have to tell you what is happening in Trinidad and Tobago where unity is crumbling fast,” said Health, Community and Social Development, Culture and Gender Affairs Minister Marcella Liburd.

The main opposition People’s Action Movement (PAM) said it is working towards the formation of a unity government to remove the Denzil Douglas administration in the next general election.

“Let us stand together in unity for a government of the people, with the people and for the people. Let us stand tall and support our leaders as they make positive history in this country by forming a government of national unity come the next general election,” PAM leader Shawn Richards told party supporters on Sunday.

But as she addressed the “Full Confidence” political meeting at Trafalgar Village in West Basseterre on Sunday, Liburd urged supporters of the ruling St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNL) to dismiss the unity call.

“What unity are they talking about? In Labour we always had unity, because we realise that labour is for all people. PAM too weak; it cannot fight the government alone. The Peoples Action Movement is scrambling and is using fired ministers to strengthen their chances,” she added.

Liburd said apart from Trinidad and Tobago, where the coalition People’s Partnership government is facing an uphill task to remain in office, coalition governments have also failed in Israel and Italy.

General election are constitutionally due here by 2015, but political observers believe that Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas will seek a fresh mandate for his ruling St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) later this year.

PAM has already indicated that it would not be fielding candidates to contest the seats now held by former government ministers Dr Timothy Harris and former deputy prime minister Sam Condor, who have also indicated their willingness to support an opposition inspired motion of no confidence in the government.

But Liburd told party supporters that the SKNLP had sought to keep the government intact and had even brought in mediators to deal with any issues raised by the two disgruntled former ministers.

She noted, however, “Sam and Tim refused to come to the meetings even though they had promised to do so” and were now seeking to hand over the constituencies which they won on the SKNLP ticket to the opposition.

In the 2010 general election, the PAM won two of the 15 seats in the National Assembly, with the SKNLP winning six. The other seats were won by the Concerned Citizens Movement and the Nevis Reformation Party.(CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)