St Kitts and Nevis votes on Friday

BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Two years after leading his coalition Team Unity government into office for a second consecutive time, Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris is facing the electorate on Friday, this time shedding the baggage of the two other political parties that helped his People’s Labour Party (PLP) into the corridors of power.

The coalition, comprising Harris’s PLP, the People’s Action Movement (PAM) and the Nevis-based Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) had retained power in the June 2022 election, winning nine of the 11 seats in the 15-member Parliament.

The other two seats went to the main opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) while under the Constitution of the twin island Federation, the other four legislators are nominated by the Governor General following the polls.

Last Tuesday, 34 people including representatives from the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), the Moral Restoration Movement (MRM) as well as two independents were nominated to contest the elections.

“We are positive at this point in time, I think the momentum is clearly with the People’s Labour Party, we see the energy, we see the high participation of young people at all our events. We have basically taken over…and they are energised and …we believe the momentum will take us through on Friday in a very big way,” Harris, an accountant, told reporters at the end of a PLP rally this weekend.

But the Barbados-based regional political analyst and pollster, Peter Wickham does not believe any of the political parties contesting the election will win outright and that could lead to horse trading.

“There is every possibility of the results being indecisive and my feeling is that, this is not what Kittitians want, but there is every possibility that people will go out and vote with their heart and then when you vote with your heart in terms of who you love, it could be a split down the middle.

“The other possibility is that people could vote with their heads seeing that they realise that ‘look this is a reality and no clear alternative’ and you will have horse trading and in the context of Caribbean politics is not unusual…,” said Wickham.

Local political analyst, Larry Vaughn, said there has never been three viable parties in an election race here ‘and now it appears the politicking in St Kitts-Nevis is very transactional and so the voter is looking for something”. (CMC)

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