The fire services were called to respond to a fire at the home of Mr. Hensley Daniel, who until 27th August this year, served as the Deputy Premier in the Nevis Island Administration, led by Premier Joseph Parry.
The fire occurred just minutes after Daniel returned home from a public meeting held in the St. Thomas Parish of the island, in the village of Cotton Ground, which is a stronghold of the ruling Nevis Reformation Party, NRP and represented in the Assembly by Parry.
Daniel’s vehicle was said to be parked at his home in Prospects Village and is believed to have taken place around 12:45pm. Some reports indicate that the fire services were alerted after the security alarm of the vehicle was activated.
Political tension in the island has been mounting in recent weeks, since a court ruled that the seat held by Mr. Daniel in the Nevis Island Assembly must be declared vacant, due to massive electoral irregularities that occurred during the last island elections in July 2011.
Campaigning for the mandatory by-election to fill the vacant seat has increased and last night’s meeting was held as part of electioneering for NRP.
Some are already speculating that the fire was politically motivated. However there is to date no evidence to support those charges. The fire Services Department has not provided any cause of the fire but their investigations are on-going.
Other NRP officials and candidates have also had their property damaged in the recent past, though no evidence has been presented to prove political mischief.
These incidents have said to include, the slashing of the tires of the vehicle of Premier Parry and a stone being thrown in the glass window of the vehicle of Cabinet member Carlisle Powell, who also had his dog poisoned.