On Tuesday evening, 9th August, Vernon Connor, PAM’s candidate for Constitiuency #6, Eugene Hamilton, PAM’s representative of Constituency #8 and Jonel Powell, PAM’s candidate for Constitiency #2 contested the two available positions of deputy political leader of the Party.
It was a caucus that resulted in Hamilton and Powell securing the majority of delegate votes and their eventual ratification at the convention. Under the Supervisor of Elections Denise Alleyne, the voting count was announced as 57 votes for Hamilton, 47 for Powell and 10 for Connor.
The mini-convention, as some referred to it, provided an opportunity for persons to ask questions on a variety of matters, and answered by their party representatives who are ministers in the coalition Team Unity Government.
Speaking with MyVueNews.com at the convention, PAM Party Leader Shawn Richards, who is deputy prime minister in the Coalition government, said the caucus and special convention is about transparency.
He said, “This evening we would have had a special caucus and convention to determine the two deputy political leaders for the People’s Action Movement. We would have had caucus and convention some months ago, but coming out of that caucus and convention, some discrepancies had been discovered in the voting process. To be fair and transparent as possible, we met this evening.”
But Richards is now looking ahead, as the executive considers a plan of action to strengthen the party.
“We’re expecting the Party to grow. We are putting in place a number of different programs to increase our membership, programs that would allow us to communicate more often with our supporters… to enable them to provide input in terms of what we are doing in Government, and, as a political party,” Richards said.
According to the party leader, the party will be strengthening its constituency structures. Richards explained, “We intend also to go into each constituency, look at the organization of the constituencies, ensure that we have functioning arms in all of the constituencies, be it the Women’s Group, be it Young Pamites, or the general constituency branches.”
Richards said the PAM remains a strong political organization. Last year the party celebrated its 50th Anniversary, a period of time, Richards said, the party contributed to the development of the country, in and outside of Government.
Richards stated, “We are currently, once more, in Government, and we continue to make our contribution. However, we can only continue to make that contribution and be a viable political entity because of the support of all of our members and friends of the People’s Action Movement. We say to those persons, continue to give us your support, and we will continue to ensure that St. Kitts and Nevis is developed for the benefit of all of us.”