PLP leader and Unity Partnership leader Dr Timothy Harris (L) shakes hands with Nevis deputy premier and deputy leader of the Unity Partnership Mark Brantley
By Toni Frederick
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- Nevis deputy premier and deputy leader of the ruling Concerned Citizens Movement, Mark Brantley, has responded to a charge that he and Premier Vance Amory are hypocrites for forming an alliance with St Kitts-based parties represented on the federal opposition benches.
“The rationale behind this move by the CCM has been fully explained. This is not any marriage of convenience; this is not anything that was put together hastily. This is not something that we’ve hidden,” Brantley told WINN FM.
The minister of foreign affairs in the federal cabinet, Patrice Nisbett, the Nevis Reformation party’s sole representative in Parliament, recently called out the CCM for criticizing his party’s decision to accept a seat on the federal government benches.
“They criticize me for going to Basseterre! They had all kinds of things to say about me… Look at the hypocrites now. All of them want to come to Basseterre now!” Nisbett told cheering supporters at an NRP rally.
Brantley spoke to WINN FM a few days after the rally.
“In the case of the honourable member who sought to criticize us, the media should ask him at what point did he indicate when he was campaigning that he would be joining Labour. The truth is that he knows, and I know, because calls were made to other people. The prime minister once the results were in, started to call people asking them to come on board,” Brantley said.
“Calls were made to persons other than the NRP and other than the Honourable Patrice Nisbett, and so he knows that as well, and so when he talks about hypocrites and marriages of convenience he should explain how it is he hastily became a member of the Labour Party in coalition with them.”
The Concerned Citizens Movement, led by Amory, has over the past two decades stoutly refused to partner with other parties, but he and Brantley have now joined forces with the other four elected representatives of the federal opposition to form a unity partnership.
“A lot of us had to swallow hard, we have said things about each other, we have had conduct which was ‘anti’ each other, but at the end of the day we have sat down as grown and mature leaders and servants of the people and we’ve said St Kitts and Nevis cannot continue along the path that we’re on. We need a new direction. We need a paradigm shift in our governance structure.”
The unity partners are campaigning together, are expected to issue a joint manifesto and have pledged to form the next federal government should they retain their seats.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network