Written by MyVueNews.com Staff Writer Posted On: Thursday, 16 February 2017
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Basseterre, St. Kitts, 16th February, 2017 (MyVueNews.com) - Exactly two years ago, on 16th February, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis headed to the polls in what turned out to be one of the most divisive general elections in the country’s 34-year history, since political independence, in 1983.
It was an election that produced a decisive victory for the opposition coalition of the People’s Action Movement, (PAM), Concerned Citizens Movement, (CCM) and the People’s Labour Party, (PLP). Today, they refer to their joint government as “Team Unity”.
It meant that the four-term administration of then Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas was brought to an end, after being installed in 1995, when another four-term government, led by former Prime Minister Dr. Sir Kennedy Simmonds, was soundly defeated by Douglas’ “New Labour”, as they branded themselves back then.
The current government headed by Dr. Harris has used the occasion of the past two weeks, to embark on a series of commemorative activities to mark the milestone of two years in government.
The celebrations have perhaps been designed to send a political message to those who oppose them. It was widely stated, after the team came into office in 2015, that the coalition would not hold and that the government would fall in less than six months.
The obvious message from Team Unity therefore is that the united front has not only lasted six months but now is on its second year in office.
To honour the occasion, the government convened a sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday, (16th February, 2017), and launched a new project titled, STEP, to replace the very controversial PEP initiative that had become one of the hot topics of the last election.
In their manifesto of 2015, the Team Unity group promised the “Construction of 2,000 homes and provision of 3,000 house lots for our people who are in need of decent housing.”
They are also launching a new program for low income home owners as part of the promise to deliver “Prosperity for All”.
The government has also been crediting itself for some of the promises it says it has delivered to the people, including payment of sixteen million dollars to former sugar workers; removal of VAT on food, medicine and funeral expenses.
Through a government entity known as the SIDF, the government has also pumped over 100 million dollars to support projects and programs on the sister island of Nevis. The celebratory activities have also included town hall meetings on both islands.
In the 2015 elections, the coalition of PAM, CCM and PLP won seven of the eleven seats, (PAM-4; CCM-2; PLP-1), while the Nevis Reformation Party in Nevis copped one and the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, three on St. Kitts.
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