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Region’s oldest political party returned to government in St. Kitts and Nevis

Posted: Saturday, August 6, 2022. 8:55 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party won snap general elections held on Friday, taking six of 11 available seats and ending a seven-year drought in opposition, according to the St. Kitts and Nevis Observer.

Labour was formed in 1932, making it the oldest political party active in the Caribbean.

Labour swept to a majority led by new leader and Prime Minister-elect Dr Terrance Drew, who was contesting his first election. Former leader and Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas was also re-elected.

The opposition will be formed by former coalition partners, leader of the People’s Labour Party (PLP) and outgoing Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, and leader of the Peoples Action Movement (PAM), Shawn Richards. They will likely be joined by the trio of representatives from Nevis who are part of the Concerned Citizens’ Movement (CCM), led by Mark Brantley.

The Team Unity alliance of the PLP, PAM, CCM and one other party first came to power in the 2015 elections and won a second term in 2020. In 2022, tensions between PM Harris and his coalition partners led to them filing a motion of no confidence against him. The now in-opposition parties asked Governor-General Sir Tapley Seaton to dismiss Harris, prompting Seaton to remind them he does not have this power under the federation constitution. Harris responded by calling for the dissolution of parliament before the motion of no confidence was tabled.

Eleven of the fifteen seats in the St Kitts and Nevis National Assembly are elected, with the other four members, known as Senators, appointed by the Governor-General at some point after the elections. The eleven elected seats are elected in single-member constituencies using plurality voting.

The Organization of American States (OAS) and CARICOM observed the election.

 

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