The Commonwealth Observer

Coalition wins St Kitts-Nevis election, ends Labor’s 20 years in government

Murray Burt
Written by Murray Burt

The opposition Team Unity coalition formed the government in St Kitts Nevis last month after winning seven of 11 parliamentary seats in Caribbean nation of 54,000 people.

The vote ended a reign of 20-years by the Labour party, headed by Denzil Douglas, who has been prime minister since 1995. He conceded defeat and offered his congratulations to a three-party Team Unity opposition coalition. It was made up of an amalgamation of People’s Action Movement, the Concerned Citizens Movement and the People’s Labour party.

“Today is a great day! Team Unity has won the general election,” Timothy Harris, the prime minister-elect, said in a statement. He was once in the Douglas cabinet. In the campaign, the coalition accused the Douglas’ administration of autocratic tendencies and making poor economic decisions, among other charges. They vowed to lower the cost of living, remove a value-added tax from foods and medicine, and create some 2,000 new jobs.

Douglas, 62, was the Caribbean’s longest serving leader, first coming to office 20 years ago and seeking his fifth term.

St Kitts and Nevis is one of the smallest independent countries in the world.

Just days before the vote, a ruling by Britain’s privy council days threw the process into turmoil. The government was accused of trying to rig the result when it declared new boundaries a month before the poll.

With just days to go until the vote, the London court, the final court of appeal for St Kitts and Nevis, ordered that the previous boundaries be used.

Source: Reuter Feb 18

Photo credit: Facing North East / cc

About the author

Murray Burt

Murray Burt

Murray Burt has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, starting as a cadet reporter in New Zealand, and doing two stints with wire services on Fleet Street before settling in Canada in the newspaper business. He is a retired managing editor of the Winnipeg Free Press, and former city and national editor of The Globe and Mail in Toronto. He is a past-president of the CJA and has been a life member since 2003, participating in each of its conferences and CPU’s conferences since 1990. He is a director of the Advisory Council of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, based in New Delhi; president of Manitoba’s newly-reconstituted Royal Commonwealth Society; and has directorships in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (western Canada).

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