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Social commentator questions PAM Deputy Chair on who he feels should lead the party


by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – Social commentator and former politician Dwyer Astaphan asked the current Deputy Chairman of the People’s Action Movement (PAM), Azard Gumbs, who he feels should run the PAM.

“Who [do] you think should be running and who should not be running? I mean in the interest of the country, because, you know, acceptability by the voters is very important. One aspect of that, as I windup, it was a very widely discussed point during the last two elections that the Labour Party would have difficulty winning the election had Dr Douglas remained the Leader. The change of leader and the person who was the new leader in the minds of a lot of people made a significant difference in the outcome of the election. We should reach the point where we stop playing with our cards close to our chest. Having the discussion doesn’t mean there’s any rancour, any venom, any viciousness, any bad blood, anything sinister, but these things need to be discussed. And, of course, you are part of a party, and in order for you to succeed, you have to gain traction on the ground. Very often, political parties misguidedly make their decisions and then look for traction on the ground rather than finding out what would get traction and then making decisions.”

During the May 31 broadcast of WINN’s Island Tea, the PAM Deputy Chair suggested that some changes would be necessary for the party’s leadership.

“In the People’s Action Movement, I think, at this point in time, you have [people] who served for a number of years and [there is] opportunity now for fresh and new [people] to take on some of the positions.”

While Gumbs did not express his personal opinion on who he feels should be running the party or making up the candidates for the PAM, he did say that there will be a shakeup at the next PAM caucus on June 1. New faces are expected.

“We have candidates who ran in the last election who have indicated that they no longer wish to serve in that capacity again, so we have the opportunity for new [people] to take up that position. Of course, it’s for the party to decide based on the structure that will be in place – based on the selection process – an open selection process. And, of course, bearing in mind all factors as to who would be best able to serve the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. So again, I don’t have concrete answers. But I have guidance that in the future, there [are] going to be new faces.”

However, according to the Deputy Chairman, the Leader of the Party, Hon. Shawn Richards, will remain the leader until 2024, when a new leadership race within the party is expected.


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