The amendment was made during the NRP convention held on Sunday, 14th August, 2016. According to NRP Secretary-General Halstead ‘Sooty’ Byron, speaking on local radio Tuesday, 16th August, the amendment was the most important matter addressed at the convention.
The amendment to a section reads, “The Constituency branches, when making recommendations to the NRP Central Executive for candidates, they must take into consideration that if a candidate is already in one Parliament, he cannot be recommended as a candidate for another Parliament.”
Byron commented, “We are saying, the NRP will not be involved in any ‘double-dipping’. There will be no NRP ministers serving in both Cabinets at the same time… Once NRP is in government, it will never double-dip. No minister will be taking a salary from St. Kitts and a salary from Nevis.”
The NRP secretary-general said there is precedence for the context of the amendment, reminding persons that former NRP Premier Joseph Parry had made a pledge not to serve in the Federal Government, and would give his time to serving the people of Nevis as Premier in the Nevis Island Administration.
According to Byron, the move ensures that when NRP regains the reigns of the NIA, there is full attention to the affairs of Nevis. He stated, “If you are a member of the Nevis Island Administration Cabinet, you have to be loyal to the people of Nevis.”
Byron believes that the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) has pledged its loyalty to the Federal Government and not to the Nevis Island Administration.
He said, “By working in St. Kitts as the Minister of Nevis Affairs, Mr. Amory (Premier) has pledged his loyalty to the Prime Minister and is accountable to him.”
He continued, “With Mr. Amory abandoning the post of Premier and traveling to St. Kitts five days per week, they (CCM) have moved government from Nevis back to St. Kitts.” This is something he considers to be a “giant step backward”, referring to the political history and relations between the islands of Nevis and St. Kitts.