One man who has done everything to show that his political texture is more like granite is the current prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, who earlier this week came in for some harsh criticism from a former ally, but now one of the key proponents for change and a strong force working for a speedy government transformation and the dawn of a new day led by a united opposition.
At a time when prime minister Dr. Denzil Douglas was celebrating a personal birthday milestone, he received a gift that he never hoped for and one that highlighted leadership tendencies that are alleged to be more in line with some of the most notorious undemocratic rulers of modern times. More and more Dr. Douglas’ opponents are accusing him of being a dictator, an illegitimate prime minister and presiding over what the adversaries like to term “an illegal government”.
The 4 term prime minister has however always pushed back on those charges making his own claims that his unprecedented 18 year reign in government has come as a result of democratic elections where the people continuously repose their trust and confidence in his political team and have therefore returned them to office since 1995. In fact Dr. Douglas and his supporters are convinced that the majority of the population, here in St. Kitts, has “full confidence” in him and his administration. It is they, the new political opponents, he has claimed, who are the dictators and who have been accusing him while they were the ones trying to have their own way when they were in the Labour Party.
However, according to the wife of Dr. Douglas’ former Deputy Prime Minister, (Sam Condor), the prime minister is anything but a democratic ruler. Speaking during a recent interview on local radio, Sugar City FM this week, as a guest on “Changing Times” with Michael Powell, (himself a former Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy leader of PAM), Mrs. Gene Condor, described the prime minister as not only a dictator in his own style, but one who has always been captivated by other tyrannical rulers in countries not known for strong democratic principles and fair play at the polls.
The exchange of uncomplimentary words has therefore been both ways. Those in the ruling St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party have also referred to their former comrades Dr. Timothy Harris and Sam Condor as “hogs”, “traitors”, “spies”, and a host of other unflattering names. This so because of their recent alliance with the 49 year old arch enemy of the incumbent St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, the People’s Action Movement, PAM.
However, the recent trade of political criticism and attacks across party lines has only solidified the concerns of many Kittitians and Nevisians who hold the view that the political culture in St. Kitts and Nevis is much too nasty, dirty, vindictive, tough, and down-right personal.
Therefore taking a plunge in the political arena here is a decision that must come with careful thought and advanced knowledge that once in, expect tough criticism and attacks that would unclothe your character and re-define who you are and what you are. But for some political operatives they also believe it is an opportunity to truly expose the shadows of double personalities that lurk in the closets of political organizations and government.
And as it has been demonstrated, when you are at the pinnacle of power, expect to be the main target. So at a time when he was hoping to enjoy his 61st birthday, the country’s prime minister was greeted with some of the harshest condemnation in what is becoming an active political campaign season. So when the latest censure came from Mrs. Condor, she described Prime Minister Denzil Douglas as a man obsessed with some of the world’s depraved dictators.
“You know, he spent a lot of time reading about all of those dictators of the world,” said Mrs. Condor. She said that many in the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party at the time, wanted to know “what’s that fascination he has?”
“He had this desire to ensure that one day he gon control… (And) this was all planned. This was a systematic thing and this is why a lot of people…began to align him with a modern day Adolph Hitler. Sometimes you say those things lightly and people feel that they just looking for something to say. Or they are just looking to demonize him. The guy is a demon,” stated the former Douglas supporter.
She said she saw it unfolding in front of her over the years and this caused her to look at the similarities and the personalities in terms of their style of leadership. “Let me just look and see and make sure,” she said.
Condor revealed that she has been constantly asked who the real Douglas is. And when asked who is this man on occasions she has said “some psychopath.” Rather strong words, but she also explained that to make a careful assessment, she indicated that she has been doing a little research on who or what is a psychopath. She added that she has been looking at “this guy’s obsession (with dictators), because he ain’t just read about them you nuh, he made it his business to go and meet most of them.”
Condor reminded that the day after the 2010 elections Douglas took off from a victory motorcade, saying he had to go to Libya to meet Gaddafi. “Nobody knew where the man was” She said Douglas called Sam Condor, his Deputy, who at the time had not been sworn in, nor had the rest of the Cabinet, while he (Douglas was in transit in Antigua) saying he was on his way, and Sam said, “to where?”
Having completed her research to make a comparison between Douglas and Hitler, Condor reminded how Hitler once said he was willing to join the German Democratic Party that he hated, just as a ploy to get his feet in the door, with the aim of eventually taking over the party and once he became leader he would turn the country into a dictatorship with the support of his close confidants.
Condor claimed that similarly Douglas too tried to join a party that he disliked. “Douglas started by trying to get in PAM and because he had the obsession with leadership he couldn’t come unless he at the top and so when he didn’t get there (in PAM) he come to Labour.”
Once being admitted to the Labour Party, Mrs. Condor claimed that Douglas boasted “they had to send for me you nuh, to come, because Labour needed a new front.” But Condor said she confronted him, reminding him how he was accepted into the party. “I said partner, you haven’t a clue how you got in here, do you? Somebody come and said they have this young man and since we looking for a candidate, and the committee looked at it, and they said ok he from St. Pauls, he related to Bradshaw, and they said ok. And I said that’s how you got in, nobody send go look for you. You set up somebody to come and ask.”
Another claim made by Mrs. Condor was that Dr. Douglas has never embraced the philosophy of the party, which was designed to do the good they can do for the people. Instead, claimed Condor, Douglas was always all about himself because he said, “he ain’t really in this philosophy thing” that the party espouses and once he got in he was planning to take it over “and I will do with it as I please,” she accused Douglas as saying.
While relating to the trust factor of the prime minister, Mrs. Condor alleged that “He is not genuine. He promises you and then behind your back…say let him wait. He said many times he ain’t gonna die a pauper. And he has continued to rule (and) to manipulate as he wishes with the Labour Party. How much longer we gon put up with that and people want to justify that?
But while Condor was blasting Douglas, many of his supporters were showering him with praises and showing their love and affection for him as he celebrated his birthday, with a string of activities organized by various groups and even one diplomatic mission.