by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The date for the St. Kitts Nevis General elections is yet to be announced by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris; but, political parties in the Federation are preparing in advance for election day with candidate announcements and community canvassing.
Dr. Janice Daniel-Hodge, Leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) had an exclusive interview with WINN FM on Friday morning (May 19), sharing her party’s position on matters relating to the upcoming elections.
Looking at the fallout that has transpired within the Team Unity Government following their seven years in running the country, WINN FM asked Daniel-Hodge if she thinks another effort of forming a coalition would be welcomed by the electorate and she said she believes that it will be.
“I think the people would receive a Coalition Government that demonstrates that they have the best interest of the people at heart and not forming a coalition prior to any election before the people would have had a chance to speak.”
“It would have to be well received, because based on the dynamics right now, we have three political parties in St. Kitts and each one of them is vying to win the seats, to demonstrate to the electorate that they would be the best suited and so it’s very unlikely that you would have one political party with six seats. It is not impossible, but it’s unlikely.”
In addition, Daniel-Hodge shared her belief that the approach of a coalition between the People’s Action Movement (PAM) and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) before the election; not knowing the wishes of the electorate, is not well received by the people. She however stated that following the Federal Election, the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) will be willing to work with the party in Government.
“Following the Federal Election, NRP is prepared to work with whoever is in Government and whomever our principles are well aligned with; with our values and our vision. We must have a mutual purpose and we must have a similar understanding of how we would want to see the country moving forward and how we would want to see Nevis moving forward.”
The principle of the Nevis Reformation Party, leading up to the 2020 Federal election was that no minister should serve in the Nevis Island Assembly and also the Federal Government at the same time. The NRP Leader shared the party’s stance ahead of the upcoming Federal election.
“I think any political party would try to ensure that it strengthens its Constitution on certain principles that would engender good governance and that would ensure that you have proper representation. With regards to the fact that a Federal election and a local election is upon us, to the greatest extent that we can uphold that principle, we would try to do that.”
The Nevis Island Assembly Election is constitutionally due in March 2023, but the St. Kitts-Nevis General Election which was constitutionally due in 2025 is expected to be called in short order, following a fallout between the parties that made up the Team Unity Government. The current political reality created the possibility for both elections to happen in less than a year of each other.
Dr. Daniel-Hodge told WINN FM that the Nevis Reformation Party was preparing for the eventuality that an early General Election would be called.
“We would have been preparing for the local elections which are due constitutionally by March of next year, less than a year from now; but certainly once you started to see the name calling at the various public conventions and you recognize that persons weren’t showing up to Cabinet, there was only really two ways that it would go; one would be that the leaders would sit down and work things out.”
Daniel-Hodge noted that after a particular convention, things got a bit far and in her opinion, that made it difficult for the Team Unity alliance to pull back and work together comfortably in its original iteration. She added that the involvement of the public and the demands and questions of the public once the issues of the Government were spilled into the public domain, sent a message that there could be a fallout, which would lead to an election.