Amory’s reaction has been careful but hopeful, saying on Sugar City FM’s Straight Talk radio program on Wednesday, that “…this call coming (when it has), may be the beginning of a new approach of the federal Government to the Nevis Island Administration, (NIA); and I have been calling for that. When we had the bond issue, I called for that approach, (to) let us see this not as an NIA issue, because we were the primary borrowers of the bonds, but guarantee by the Federal Government was necessary, if we were to get those bonds placed with the NIA.”
Therefore the Premier was optimistic when he added, “So coming as it does, (the call), I suppose we gonna see the dawn of a new day towards the NIA. There are still matters to do with our position to the Federal Parliament and the Nevis Parliament, and we will see how things roll out on them.”
Prime Minister Douglas had also remarked during Tuesday’s Ask the Prime Minister on ZIZ Radio, “I really want to call upon the NIA government. I want to make this public call today to them on this programme. I call upon the NIA Government to sit with me and let us begin a period of consultation. How can we together move this Federation forward?”
But Amory reminded that his approach to government and governance in Nevis, and to politics in St. Kitts and Nevis, has always been one based on the constitutional arrangements between the two islands that comprise the independent state.
He explained that that approach has been one that seeks to find the common ground, the cooperative and the collaborative approach. “And since we have returned to government, we have sought to re-establish that arrangement with the Federal Government; so the call now (by the Prime Minister), coming when it has, is not new. We have been calling for this kind of approach but we have been criticized, because whenever we’ve established that we are coming for a meeting with the Prime Minister, you have those who have been critical of our party and our Administration, saying we’ve come to beg. And I keep saying we don’t come here to beg.”
The Premier, who is leader of the ruling Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM and Minister of Finance in Nevis, made it clear, “When I come to speak to the Prime Minister, I come to speak about substantive matters of finance, or development, or matters which will help the citizenry of St. Kitts & Nevis, or the country, to move forward in a progressive and positive way; and that’s my approach.”
In his radio programme, the Prime Minister also made reference to recent political developments, and the embassy fires of last Sunday, 5th January, 2014, that destroyed the offices of the Venezuelan ambassador and partly torched the Secretariat of the Organization of American States, OAS.
Being mindful that Amory and his CCM are part of a united opposition with the People’s Action Movement, PAM, and the newly formed People’s Labour Party, PLP, Dr. Douglas stated, “If this is what Unity is about; destroying our country, then who wants to be part of Unity really? Who wants to be part of a concoction of parties that is bent on confrontation and destruction?”
He continued by suggesting that the Federation will move forward with the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration sitting together to discuss issues “because the confrontation, the burning and the destruction will not get us anywhere. I am appealing very strongly and publicly to the NIA to distance themselves away from this part of destruction that the Unity Concoction has taken in order to as they make their final push to grab power here in St. Kitts and Nevis. As they plan their final push to grab power, they must be distanced from.”
However, when Amory was asked by his radio host, Ian Patches Liburd, who is a PAM candidate for the next elections, running in East Basseterre against Douglas’ Deputy (Prime Minister), Dr. Asim Martin, if working with the federal Government would be a conflict or contradiction of the mission of Team Unity, the Premier was adamant, and intimated that in no way would it stop his party’s resolve to work together as an opposition coalition to remove the incumbent Labour Government of Dr. Douglas.