‘People over politics’ override ‘a declaration of war’, says NEXTGEN SKN

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Antigua and Barbuda's Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Michael S Browne (L) St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Candidate, Leon Natta-Nelson (C) and Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris

By Caribbean News Now contributor

BASSETERRE, St Kitts — Earlier this year, Dr Denzil Douglas, former prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis, said that his St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) has been fully mobilised for the upcoming general elections with a message of hope, vision and reconciliation for the people of the federation, adding “Our NEXTGEN SKN vision is an inclusive agenda that puts every man, woman and child at the very centre of our development planning and putting people first is our highest priority.”

Leon Natta-Nelson, the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party candidate who prime minister Dr Timothy Harris, parliamentary representative for St Christopher 7, said Saturday his theme “People over Politics” is about providing opportunities to each household in the area.

“My endeavours, my fight, my time, my efforts, my commitment is about the people. The people of Constituency 7 and beyond. It is making life better, bringing opportunities to the household of C7 – People over Politics. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much politics we debate; it is the people that is affected by it,” Natta-Nelson said.

Concerning the transformation of the constituency-wide landscape, notable, Natta-Nelson understands that the vision of housing as a human right must become a fundamental part of the progressive vision of the region. It’s good policy and it’s good politics. And more importantly, it’s a moral challenge, [society can no longer ignore] evident by the social and economic equilibrium, building a nation of wealth and prosperity. 

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Natta-Nelson said: “We will install a new housing programme in this country where we shall continue where we left off by providing over 1,000 houses per term. Since 1995, this last five years (2015 to 2020) will have seen the least number of government house ever been built in St Kitts. To add to our housing scheme (I can’t give it all away), we will ensure that our constituents are physically, psychologically and financially empowered to own these homes. We will improve and expand the agriculture sector to the constituency bringing services closer to the largest farming areas in St Kitts and Nevis.

“Many will say, or some will say ‘Can he beat Tim.’ To that, I will always say, my focus is not on him or Tim or whoever the People’s Action Movement (PAM) decides to run. My focus, my primary focus, is to build lasting relationships with you the people that together we may become the future government that provide the opportunities to the people, Natta-Nelson said.

“Opportunities that sustain the lives of our people advance the lives of our people and make St Kitts and Nevis the number one growing country in the Caribbean and Latin America. That is my focus. That is my dialogue with the people in every home, in every village. That is my responsibility to the people of this great constituency,” Natta-Nelson said.

Natta-Nelson continued: “New ideas are coming, innovation is coming and new leadership is coming,” and that government must always bear an obligation to be responsible, to be accountable and be respectful to the people.

Nevertheless, Antigua and Barbuda’s minister of education, science and technology, Michael S Browne who was invited to speak at Saturday’s [June 22] introduction of Leon Natta-Nelson, told a large crowd that prime minister Harris telephoned prime minister Browne around midnight Friday. 

“The prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis called my prime minister and he expressed abhorrence that I am coming to St Kitts to speak at this function…the charge was that my presence here [me coming here to speak] ‘is a declaration of war.’” 

The audio clip below dispel nuance, trapped in the confines and emptiness of invulnerability.  [Credit: Kyss FM 102.5]

Recently, Dr Douglas pointed out that the exclusion of opposition parliamentarians from St Kitts and Nevis delegation to the recent sitting of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Assembly in Antigua will not prevent his party from speaking out against corruption, nepotism and cronyism in Harris-led Team Unity government.

“The Harris administration continues to do everything possible to marginalise and prevent members of the opposition from participating in any public consultation on pertinent matters locally and regionally,” said Dr Douglas, who noted that the Labour parliamentarians have in the past being excluded from consultations on crime, the economy, the important workshop dealing with the Integrity in Public Life Act and follow-up consultations on the mechanisms for the implementation of the OAS inter-American Convention Against Corruption  held in St Kitts and Nevis last year.

He further noted that there was no mention of the outcome of the Assembly in the local media although the Team Unity Government [ostensibly] spends over EC$1 million on propaganda in the federation and overseas to deliberately spread falsehood, lies and deception on the state of affairs in St Kitts and Nevis.

As it pertains to “representation with respect and care,” following the Caribbean Investment Summit held in St Kitts and Nevis, Harris said:

“People marvelled at the transformation that they have witnessed in St Kitts and Nevis. So wonderful and positive this transformation has been,” he said, during an appearance on the “Straight Talk” radio programme Thursday night (June 20, 2019). 

“They spoke about the quality of our infrastructure in St Kitts and Nevis and marvelled at what we have been able to do. Look at the investment that we are having at the airport and seaport, the island main road, the improvement in our housing stock that has taken place, he added, referring to ongoing upgrade projects that are modernising the island’s landscape.

However, it seems more evident than not that Dr Harris continues to escape the thought- process that the Embassy Suites international hotel brand appearing on a resort on the coastline remains unfinished. The Radisson, the Six Senses and Ritz-Carlton brands have also eluded the Team Unity government of Harris, and thus, gives reason to examine economic citizenship investments.

Meanwhile, Dr Harris pointed out that recently completed projects such as the East Line Bus Terminal, Basseterre Ferry Terminal, Mary Charles Hospital, Newtown Dental Health Centre, and the ongoing work at the Tabernacle Health Centre.

“All these things persons are pointing to, which have helped to transform the country and so at this particular juncture I feel very satisfied that the Team Unity administration has been working hard for the people and we have quite a lot to show for it,” Harris said.

But according to Natta-Nelson, ‘people over politics’ and ‘representation with respect and care’:

“I say that not just for optics and the politics, but I say it as a principled position on good governance that is needed in the affairs of this country. Ministers of government must always bear an obligation to be responsible, to be accountable and be respectful to the people,” he said.

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