by Eulana Weekes
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Social commentator, Mr. Duncan ‘Big Lice’ Wattley shared his belief that the electorates have a significant role to play in changing the political climate that currently exists in St Kitts and Nevis. He explained that the electorates should scrutinise politicians and also hold them accountable when they fail to deliver on promises made.
In an exclusive interview with WINN FM on Friday April 8 2022, Wattley gave advice to the electorates; looking ahead to the St Kitts-Nevis General Elections, constitutionally due in 2022.
“What should we be looking for? Promises could be made and promises could be broken and that is why, this thing (election) is an activity; it’s not just a one off thing and so when people come and give us their word, if they go back on their word, we as the electorates should make demands; and that is why the constitution needs to be changed where we can recall MP’s (Minister’s of Parliament) and stuff like that; because there are people who come and lie to your face, you give them a chance and when they get there, they do something different; and so, I would tell the electorates that you have to ask some hard questions to these people who come and say they want to serve; to try and ascertain whether they want to serve for their own selfish gains or whether they really have this country at heart.”
The social commentator suggested that the electorates ask politicians questions about how they will use the CBI funds.He questioned, “Will we be able to see how the money at the Development bank is spent? Will we be able to verify and ascertain that what is done with the money is the correct thing? How will the issue of accountability be dealt with? Are you going to be transparent?
Wattley further advised the electorates to put aside the traditional party affiliations and vote for a better nation.
“It’s time that we put the political affiliations, whether Labour, PAM and so forth, behind us. When people come and say, I want to represent you, sit down with them, engage them to see if they really have what you are looking for as an individual; cause it’s all about the individual now; you as the voter. If you are satisfied that John is capable of running this country and you make a decision, then you would have to live with it.
Wattley added, “All I am saying to the electorates, it’s time we move away from blind allegiance. It’s time we move away from saying we support Labour because of Labour [or] we supporting PAM. We must want what is best for this country.”
The political landscape in St Kitts and Nevis has been quite tense over the past few months as the leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement, the Hon Mark Brantley, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the People’s Action Movement, the Hon Shawn Richards and other Ministers of Parliament have publicly questioned Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris on the disbursement of revenues generated by the Citizens By Investment Funds, issues with affordable housing development, Poverty Alleviation Programme and leadership term limits amongst other things.
A Tripartite Meeting for political leaders within the Team Unity Government was held on Wednesday April 6 and Wattley expressed his disappointment that the Coalition did not end on that day, considering all the accusations made. He said real concrete decisions need to be made in this country. The Tripartite meeting was adjourned until Thursday April 14.
Having been asked whether or not he prefers the House of Parliament to be dissolved and elections called, Wattley said that an election is the only thing that can save St Kitts and Nevis.
“Judging from what I’ve heard, the only thing going forward that can save this Federation, is to have fresh elections. Nothing else! Even if you say change leadership, it won’t work because they are fighting against each other; and these are things that are personal, when you listen, personal things have gotten in the way of good governance and so I believe the only thing that can happen or the only practical thing is to go back to the polls and allow the people to choose a government. If it so happens that they go back and they win, then we have to throw our hands in the air and say, that is what we deserve.”