This time around however, the claims being made by Dwyer Astaphan, are far more poignant than some of the previous revelations. Astaphan once served as Minister of Tourism, National Security, Justice, Legal Affairs, and in many other portfolios
Astaphan, in a recent public document made the claim that, “In the lead-up to the 1989 elections, after Dr Douglas and his cabal had succeeded in forcing Mr. Charles Mills, the sitting Parliamentary Representative, out of the picture so that he could become the candidate for the safe Constituency 6 seat, the very next objective was to get rid of Mr. Lee Moore as Party leader.”
Mr. Astaphan continued his charge by saying, “So while Mr. Moore struggled in a difficult race in Constituency 4, Dr. Douglas and certain key persons from Constituency 4 and other areas who should have been helping Mr. Moore, instead, abandoned him.”
“And when a well known national figure and Labour supporter, who had seen what was going on, asked why these folks weren’t in Constituency 4 helping Mr. Moore, one of them (you can guess which one) told him: “Leh Lee Moore tek dat. I well wan’ him lose. Time now for de Doc to tek over!”
Astaphan said, “Dr .Douglas won handily in Constituency 6 while Mr. Moore lost (for the second time), and the Party had a new leader. Mr. Moore had been put in his place, cannibalized and punished and humiliated.”
Astaphan who was the former Parliamentary Representative for St. Christophe 2, Central Basseterre, questioned the motive and actions, stating that Lee Moore “Was an able man, loyal to Party and country, and with their help he might have won the seat. But in order to accommodate Dr. Douglas’ vaulting ambition, Mr. Moore had to be humiliated and punished.”
Though there has always been much speculation and discussion, about the events leading to the rise of Dr. Douglas to the leadership of the party, never before have they been voiced by a former high-ranking Labour Party official and top ranking Minister of the ruling party.
A few weeks prior to the January 25th General Elections in St. Kitts & Nevis this year, Mr. Astaphan stepped up his attack on Douglas, arguing that he should step aside as leader of Labour and immediately put a succession plan in place. He was however ignored by the Prime Minister.
In response though, the Labour Party’s public relations machinery retaliated by stating that, Astaphan was on a personal vendetta, because he was not given thousands of dollars that he had claimed, for reimbursement of expenses, he said were used to benefit his constituency.