No rift in party, says Dr Denzil Douglas
BASSETERRE – Former prime minister Dr Denzil Douglas has rubbished reports of a rift within the leadership of the main opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) ahead of the August 5 poll, saying he is full support of the leader, Dr Terrance Drew.
“We went through a period of transition of leadership, and Dr Drew has emerged as the leader among those who contested,” said Douglas, who served as party leader for 33 years and the Prime Minister for 20 years, before stepping down last year.
Douglas, speaking on a radio programme here, said he had no intention of following his former prie ministerial colleagues, Dr Keith Mitchell and Dr Ralph Gonsalves, in holding on to the leadership of their respective parties in Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Mitchell, 75, led his New National party (NNP) into defeat in the June 23 general election, while Gonsalves, 76, said earlier this week that he intends to lead the Unity Labour Party (ULP) into the next general election in 2025.
“They used to say Douglas is going to die with his boots on, absolute nonsense. Douglas is here to ensure that the transition is completed from opposition to the government. New Prime Minister, new leader, new team, the A-Team led by Dr Drew,” he told radio listeners.
At least 32 candidates representing six political parties were nominated Tuesday in a carnival style atmosphere to contest the August 5 general election that Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris was forced to call three years ahead of the constitutional deadline.
Prime Minister Harris was forced to dissolve Parliament on May 10 paving the way for the general election after legislators from People’s Action Movement (PAM) and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) – two members of the coalition Team Unity government – accounting for seven of the nine seats in the Cabinet had filed a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister, who scuttled that move by firing the dissidents and indicating that he would announce a date for the polls within the stipulated 90 day period.
The six political parties will contest 11 of the 15 seats in Parliament with the other four legislators being nominated by the Governor General following the polls. (CMC)