BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Political pundits are predicting that the Timothy Harris will be “a one-term prime minister,” of St Kitts and Nevis who will resign even if he wins his seat in the next election.
Former government minister Dwyer Astaphan weighing on the issue during his weekly radio programme “The Operating Room” on Winnfm on Tuesday that Nevisian voters will play a significant role in determining the outcome of the next Federal government election.
“In St Kitts, the Peoples Action Movement (PAM) will contest six seats. The St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) will contest the eight seats in St Kitts. It is difficult to see either of those two parties winning six seats on its own,” said Astaphan.
“If PAM wins six seats, which is unlikely and it is equally unlikely for Labour to win six, a successful PAM candidate will be the next prime minister and Harris will resign from the parliament and there will be a by-election in number 7. If Labour wins six seats, a successful Labour candidate will be the next prime minister and Harris will resign from parliament,” said Astaphan with Terry Adams, a co-host commenting “it seems as though Harris is the weakest of all the candidates going into the next election.”
Astaphan, however, admitted that the SKNLP candidate challenging Harris “could make a nonsense of his presumption that Harris would win.
“If PAM wins six seats, they would probably invite CCM with whatever seats Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) brings to the table to join them in government, even if they win six,” said Astaphan.
“If Labour wins six seats, they too might look to Nevis to invite whoever might be willing to join them in office. If PAM wins five seats, they will look either at Timothy Harris in number 7 or what I sense is more likely, they will look to their friends in Nevis to join them, likewise for Labour,” said Astaphan, who added “unless six seats in the opposition and somebody accepts a five-seat government, which is possible, but not very likely.”
He pointed out that if CCM wins two seats in Nevis, Labour would have to try to convince CCM that a coalition between them would be a good thing for the country and Nevis.
“That too would take some doing because CCM is in coalition with Labour’s opponent, but in politics, you never rule out anything. If Labour wins five seats in St Kitts and NRP wins one seat, then Labour and NRP would form the government. However, remember that the same way Labour can talk with CCM, so can PAM talk with the [Nevis Reformation Party] NRP,” said Astaphan, who added, “maybe all of this back-room talk is already.”
“If PAM wins four seats, both the Nevis seats and St Christopher 7 where Dr Harris is the incumbent, come more into play. Likewise for Labour, except that Dr Harris would not be in the equation with SKNLP, unless he has a falling out with his present colleague – [and you are hearing things] and if he was offered the prime-ministership by Labour, of course, would not go down well with the SKNLP supporters. So, we can almost rule that out, but not totally,” said Astaphan, who pointed out that “Dr Harris needs PAM and CCM more than they need him.”
According to a political analyst who resides in a nearby Caribbean island and requested anonymity, said:
“The way [Dr Harris] he has governed, the way he has operated, and the scandals in four short years are enough, that even if the Team Unity construct retains the same seven seats, Dr Harris will be history as prime minister. His dictatorial behavior, the secrecy of his doings will not be tolerated. Even if there is a two-party, three-party or even four-party coalition, Dr Harris will be excluded for a cabinet position.”
Following the 2015 general elections, SKNLP, the largest single party in St Kitts and Nevis, received 11,897 votes to the Peoples Action Movement (PAM), 8,452 votes on St Kitts.
On Nevis, CCM received 3,951 votes; the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), 3,276 votes and Timothy Harris’ People’s Labour Party (PLP), 2,723 votes.