Written by Erasmus Williams:
Former Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said Friday his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party(SKNLP) is preparing to return to office to improve the quality of life of the people of the twin-island Federation.
In remarks athis 18th annual New Year’s Gala at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort andRoyal Beach Casino, Dr. Douglas told over 600 patrons including representativesof the diplomatic and consular corps, businessmen, investors, visitingnationals and residents of the importance of the gala.
“It is importantbecause it is intended to ensure that we can lift ourselves and look towardsthe future with hope, aspiring that things would change and asking that therewould be continued protection and shelter from the continued deterioration inthe quality of life of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Douglas, alsothe National Political Leader of the SKNLP>
He pointed outthat each will leave with an umbrella which is symbolic of the need for shelterand protection.
“It is a significantdemonstration that our people are crying out for shelter and protection fromthe viciousness of these times and they are asking that Labour would return,”he said to a tumultuous applause.
He highlightedthe incompetence of the Team Unity Government as one of the many challengesthat will face the people of St. Kitts and Nevis in 2018.
“We hear on adaily basis that things are hard. Things are not what they use to be before.Opportunities that abounded in the past three, four, five years ago, are nolonger here. The economy continues to be in decline. Yes minimal growth, significantlyreduced from the seven percent GDP growth of three, four years ago (under theLabour Party administration) to a mere two percent (under the TimothyHarris-led Team Unity Government,” Dr. Douglas said.
He called for animmediate overhauling of the health sector.
“As someone saidrecently, health is in the ICU and we need to take it from the ICU and give itlife and energy as we would want to do overall with the economy and the other sectorshere in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Douglas said.
In challengingthe patrons and the Nation, Dr. Douglas said there is hope in the future as theSKNLP has spent an enormous amount of time reorganising itself and training thosewho will be the architects and actors of a revitalised political organisation thatwould enhance the lives of each national and resident in St. Kitts and Nevis.
He said the LabourParty has undertaken a process of candidate selection through a new body thatwas created called the Candidate Selection Advisory Committee which takes its rootand agenda from the constitution of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party anddelivered a message of assurance of all sectors of the nation.
“We want todemonstrate that there is a seriousness about this organisation in returning St.Kitts and Nevis to the heights that it used to be just four and five years ago.I challenge you to recognise that there is a fundamental change that is goingto come. I challenge our young people in particular to become actively engagedin the process. Register yourselves as electors and become involved of the partyof the people
I call uponthose who are in business to join with us as we have reached out to you and weare saying here that just as we partnered with you over the last 20 years of hisadministration of building this country, so too, we want to emphasise that thepartnership will continue under a new Labour Administration, and move ourcountry to unprecedented heights that we have never seen before,” Dr. Douglassaid.
“I asked ourpublic servants to continue to have hope.
Hold strain. Civilservants at all levels are abandoning the government at this time, in thepublic service . We would need your competence, your experience and your expertise. We would want to lift you up and notallow you to continue to become part of the nepotism, cronyism and corruption thathave visited this country over the last nearly three years,” he said.
Dr. Douglas alsochallenged the professionals.
“Our doctors,our nurses, our teachers – there isenough space for you in the new and changed situation that will come over thiscountry n the future,” he said
“We thank youfor your support over the years. We thank you for working with us as agovernment. We thank you for working with us in opposition and thank you forworking with us again when we would have returned to office to serve theinterests of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr. Douglas, who disclosedthat the new makeup will create energy, dynamism and a conductive environment.
“We will reach acrossborders and boundaries. We will be as inclusive as we were before because werecognise that a government cannot do it alone. It needs investors, it needs developers,it needs businessmen, it needs the church community, it needs civil society andthe entire nation to move our great country forward. It is with open armstherefore that we invite you to be part of the future a brighter future in St.Kitts and Nevis,” the former prime minister said.