The Leader delivered his farewell address at his party’s annual Independence Ball, held at the St. Kitts Marriott Hotel.
Mr. Grant thanked all those whom he said supported he and his party through some extremely trying times and difficulties through the years. But he reminded his guests, that during the 12 years of his leadership, “…so much has happened and so much we have forgotten…events that today still are relevant and still affect us.”
These he said include the poor state of electricity supply and its high cost; and an electoral system that is riddled with fraud.
The PAM leader reminded his members that the party protested and agitated when the incumbent administration was seeking to reform the electoral system because it was felt that what was being attempted was not in the best interest of democracy and fairness.
He said the party refused to support the reform process arguing then that, “…it was flawed and which we considered was only making a bad system worse. We were ridiculed and called spoilers. Today we have been vindicated, although not fully as yet. Because we will not rest until the system is changed totally to endure free and fair elections, which is the hallmark of any decent democracy.”
At this time of independence, Grant challenged his party supporters to examine what they can do for their country. He said they must agitate for those issues that affect the daily lives of the majority of the citizens. He urged them to be conscious of the legacy that they would leave for future generations.
“At this independence time, let us remember those who are in need, those who we fight for each and every day, to secure a brighter future for them so that we have a more prosperous St. Kitts & Nevis.”
For the outgoing PAM Leader, “Our country needs persons of purpose and determination, persons of ambition and perseverance, persons of courage and dignity.”
The PAM Leader had much praise for his wife, Wendy, whom he described as the pillar of strength on which he relied since he was elected leader on 8th October, 2000. Grant will leave office on 30th September. A new leader meantime will be selected on Sunday 23rd September, and take office on 1st October. Grant was the third leader of PAM, following in the footsteps of Founder William Valentine “Billy” Herbert (1965-1975) and Dr. Sir Kennedy Simmonds, (1975-2000).
Among the special guests at the Ball were Governor General Sir Cuthbert Sebastian and various diplomats stationed in the country, including those from Taiwan, which was the first country to establish an embassy in St. Kitts & Nevis, after the attainment of independence in 1983, under the leadership of the country’s First Prime Minister, Dr. Sir Kennedy Simmonds.