During the past week, political observers were claiming and Astaphan himself had indicated that his former boss and Cabinet colleague, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, was about to use this Sunday’s (15th May, 2011), annual Labour Convention, to have him, (Astaphan), kicked out of the Party.
Now it is no longer a rumour because one of the decisions coming out of the convention was a “yes” vote to expel the former top Labour Party official from the organization.
A resolution presented to the party at the 79th Annual Conference noted that the former political candidate for the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and former Minister in the Labour Party Administration, Dwyer Astaphan, since January 2009 has been holding the policies of the Labour Party Government under constant political attack even though many of the policies he is attacking were not only supported by but also recommended by him when he was a member of the government.
In recent years, Astaphan has made known his dissatisfaction with the performance of Douglas both as Prime Minister and Party leader. Astaphan has blamed Douglas for the failures of the economy and the huge National Debt, which now stands at approximately 3 billion dollars.
It has been Astaphan’s argument that because of Douglas’ mismanagement of the economy, electricity and crime, the time had come for the Prime Minister to step aside.
Mr. Astaphan has also blamed the Prime Minister for the current high cost of living and poor standard of living being experienced in some sectors of Kittitian society. Corruption has also been a major issue highlighted by Astaphan, as he advanced his program to force Dr. Douglas from his position as Head of Government and Party.
It has also been Astaphan’s position that Douglas should step aside and make way for new leadership of the Party. He has named Labour Party Chairman and Senior Minister of Government Dr. Timothy Harris and current Deputy Prime Minister, Sam Condor as possible candidates to take over the helm of the political organization and Government.
However, instead of Douglas leaving, it is Astaphan who has been removed as a member of Labour.
Sources within the leadership of Labour have however noted in a press release, issued Sunday, (15th May), that Astaphan has been attempting to undermine the Labour Party “by his unrelenting political attacks on our National Political Leader, Cde. Dr. Denzil Douglas, and has been colluding with Richard Caines, a former Minister of the PAM Party, and other members and supporters of that Party, to undermine the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and government and promote PAM’s chances to form the next government.
“Whereas Dwyer Astaphan is not abiding by the aims, objects, policies and programme of the Party, which provides ground for expulsion, BE IT RESOLVED that Dwyer
Astaphan be expelled with due process, from the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party,” said the resolution which was overwhelmingly supported at the Conference of delegates, the highest decision making body.