However, both Dr. Mitchell and members of the Nevis Island Administration have tied the challenge of governing, to the economic troubles facing each territory and the failures of the respective outgoing administrations.
One other lesson that has been evident from the recent victories of the opposition is that it is tough trying to make a difference while outside of government. Politics they claim, also comes with much personal and professional sacrifice.
Deputy Premier of Nevis, Mr. Mark Brantley, on Monday 25th February, 2013, said that he does not see his recent elevation to government, as one of having power, but rather one that provides him with an opportunity to serve his people in the 36 square mile island.
He said his political journey too has been a very difficult road. He said that he believes that no other politician has had such a difficult path to office, as he has. Brantley, who is also the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, added that this difficult path has been due to people who decided they would use every available resource, governmental and otherwise, to deny him an opportunity to serve.
“What is so special about me and why that similar effort was not applied to others, I don’t know. But I am here by the grace of God and by the will of the people. And once I continue to work with them and to stay close to them and to demonstrate to them that I am here to serve them and to advance their best interest, I feel confident that I will continue to be given an opportunity to serve them,“ stated Brantley, during a live interview on local radio, WINN FM.
Commenting on the activities of the CCM Administration since coming to office after the 25th January, election, Brantley stated, “It is early days yet. We have only been here for one month and we have had to make some very tough decisions, early on; some decisions which naturally some people are unhappy with. But I suppose one of the tenets of leadership is that, it is difficult to please everyone and once we are guided by that abiding principle of love of country and putting our country first, not party, not supporters, but our country first, I believe we will be alright.”
The Deputy Premier said it has been a long battle but it has been rewarding in many ways, because it has assisted in allowing him and his legal team and the CCM team, to clarify a lot of issues that were clouded.
“The issues for example, that were confronted in the election petition, those are now matters of international precedence. And sad as it was, that it had to happen in Nevis, in a way we have contributed to the understanding of electoral laws and the advancement of democracy, not just in St. Kitts and Nevis but in the wider Caribbean, and indeed throughout the world.” He said he got calls from people including from Costa Rico, and though the language barrier, the people there were interested in what was happening here because it is a lesson in democracy.
He explained that it was a lesson, both of what not to do, and of what one can do, “because most people might have folded their hands and said well, I have lost and let me go home, but I decided no.”
The Island Assemblyman said at the end of the day “we were vindicated and in our vindication we have created precedence that hopefully would guide us, that never again these types of issues occur, in our beloved country.”
Brantley was also quick to suggest that there is urgent need for electoral reform, not just in Nevis, but also in St. Kitts; in the entire federation.
“Having just come out of that long arduous battle, the CCM understands more than any other party, the need for serious electoral reform; the need to look at, not just at the structure, but the personnel that we select to man these offices.”
He said he has made the point repeatedly, that the system in St. Kitts and Nevis is not the best system, but it is also not the worse either. He argues that it is the personnel that were handpicked on the basis of their political support and the basis that they can be manipulated politically …that is what ultimately led to the corruption of the system.
“If you read the decisions of Justice Jones and from the Court of Appeal, it was not so much the system was flawed, but that the people manning the system refused to do what the law required them to do. And so we have to look at it and I agree that CCM has the best vantage point to articulate the changes that ought to happen. And we will be pushing and we will be talking about these matters publicly because our role is to have a better country.”