October 3, 2022

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St. Kitts & Nevis: main opposition party claims victory in general elections

August 6th, 2022

The main opposition St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) has won the general election, taking 6 of the 11 seats in the twin island Federation.

The victory for the SKNLP comes 7 years after they were booted out of office.

Preliminary figures released by Supervisor of Elections, Elvin Bailey, more than 17 hours after the official close of polling on Friday night, showed that Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris was the lone successful candidate for his People’s Labour Party (PLP).

Shawn Richards of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) was also the only successful candidate for his party, while Mark Brantley’s Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) won all three seats in Nevis as it had done in the June 2020 general election.

The three parties had formed the coalition Team Unity administration, led by Harris before he was forced to call the early poll three years ahead of the constitutional deadline after his Cabinet colleagues filed a motion of no confidence in him.

Harris averted the debate by dissolving the Parliament and calling for general election on August 5th.

The SKNLP is led by the Cuban-trained medical practitioner, Dr. Terrence Drew, who will become the Federation’s fourth prime minister.

The party had campaigned on the need to liberate the country from the clutches of the coalition Team Unity government.

Drew polled the highest number of votes in the election, receiving 2,950, while Chesley Hamilton of the PAM got 895 and the PLP’s Andrew Bass 761.

“It is an amazing outcome for the party,” said regional political analyst and pollster, Peter Wickham, recalling the defeat the party had suffered in the last two general elections.

Political strategist Hartley Henry blamed the coalition for what he described as “an unnecessary election” adding that the results were “a rejection of an administration that had become disconnected from the people”.

Among the victorious SKNLP candidates is former prime minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, who before the 2015 general election had been among the longest serving leaders in CARICOM.

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