In particular, Douglas’ focus was on the Sugar City FM radio programs known as “Changing Times”, hosted by Michael Powell, who is a former Deputy Prime Minister during the reign of the PAM/NRP Administration and “Straight Talk” which is hosted by Ian “Patches” Liburd who is expected to run as a candidate for PAM in East Basseterre against the current Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Earl Asim Martin.
Speaking on his own radio talk show this past Tuesday, Dr. Douglas, who too has been known for his aggressive language, said “There is so much hate, so much negative, you listen to (Ian) Patches (Liburd) radio programme. Its hatred, negative, bloodletting, violence, shoot, kill, that’s what you are hearing. It’s the same thing on Michael Powell’s show, violence, hate, viciousness, etc.”
Douglas said that his comments were inspired by a caller to his show but he reminded his detractors that he is not doing the work (in government) only for man. “I think what I am doing has to be inspired by God,” said the Prime Minister. But he said the negative discussions would not detract him from the mission to serve the people.
But on Thursday, 23rd January, Patches Liburd lashed back at Douglas, saying that it is he Douglas who is on record preaching violence including when he said at a public meeting that he has incited people and invited them to “remember 1993” adding that he has incited before and can do it again.
Patches also played recordings of what he said was the Prime Minister declaring that in 1995 he (Douglas) overthrew the government. At the time the government was led by Dr. Sir Kennedy Simmonds, having won elections from 1980-1993. In 1993 however, PAM won four seats, NRP 1, CCM 2 and Labour four. Both PAM and NRP continued as partners and were asked by the Governor General to form a government. PAM officials and members of the CCM have also stated that confirmation was given to the Governor General at the time, Sir Clemet Arrindell, that they (CCM) had no intention of frustrating the operations of the new government and though they were not willing to join the PAM/NRP coalition, they intended to give support where necessary in the National Assembly to ensure that the government continued.
The aftermath of the 1993 elections saw one of the most violent and turbulent times in the recent history of St. Kitts and Nevis. Gangs of anti-government protestors burnt buildings, set tires on fire at the airport, and damaged buildings in the capital. There were days of demonstrations and a state of emergency had to be declared to help stabilize the toxic political environment. The opposition Labour party at the time, under the leadership of Douglas had challenged the legitimacy of the new government, claiming that it was an illegal administration because only five elected members sat on the government side in the National Assembly, while Labour had four and CCM 2, on the opposition benches.
Reacting to the strong words of condemnation that he said has been coming from opposition sources via the named radio shows, Douglas said what he is doing in government is not being done in self-interest, “And I do not do it for myself, I do it because people have elected me to serve and that is why I say that I am not distracted at all. I have a focused job to carry on and this strength and the vibrancy of the leadership that I provide, as long as I have strength and as long I have the support of majority of the people, who could stop me,” asked Dr. Douglas.
The Prime Minister said while there are those who oppose him there are thousands “who would meet me in the streets, who would hug me, kiss me, pray for me, those who whisper in my ears, ‘don’t worry, there is more for you than those against you’ and that inspires me.”
Dr. Douglas said he has a job that he will continue to do it.