By Mercia Bassue
The Historical formation of the People’s Labour Party (PLP) in 2013 brought to light a new climate of politics in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Birthed out of a desire to uphold and preserve the moral and ethical principles necessary for good governance, PLP continues to strengthen and expand its membership base.
Never in the political life of St. Kitts and Nevis was a third political party embraced or successful, in fact, most of the third parties that came into being were unable to sustain their political fortunes for any reasonable length of time and therefore died a natural death. In a short seven years (7) years, PLP has positioned itself as one of the most influential parties in the federation.
The Leader Dr. Timothy Harris, Deputy political leader Akilah Byron-Nisbett, and the leadership of PLP including founding members and advisors have managed to strategize and charter a new course of politics as the linchpin of the Unity Construct.
The Long Awaited Third Option
Every attempt made in the past to build a third party in St. Kitts collapsed until PLP came on the scene; the United National Empowerment Party (UNEP) and the United People’s Party (UPP) being two of the most recent failed attempts. No other third party was able to be as consistent as PLP.
For years, the two most dominant rival parties in St. Kitts and Nevis were the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party and the People’s Action Movement (PAM) thus one was either PAM or Labour. Overtime, the appetite of citizens changed, and there was a need for a third option which PLP provided. Some persons preferred not to associate with neither PAM nor Labour, therefore made PLP that third option.
PLP miraculously built out in all 8 constituencies and were not disruptive to their allies PAM. They however strategized to secure and increase the number of votes and seats for PAM. What is significant in all this is that PLP has a strong base of supporters in all 8 constituencies in St. Kitts although they only ran 2 and 3 candidates in 2015 and 2020 respectively. In 2015 PLP received 8.99% of the popular vote, this increased in 2020 when the party was able to capture 13.37%, positioning itself as the third most popular party in the federation.
The People’s Labour Party provides the linchpin in the Unity Construct. Never again will any single political party hold the reign of power in the federation, it takes a united approach to form a government and to keep the opposition on its knees. The political parties will therefore have to embrace emerging political ideologies on the political landscape of St. Kitts and Nevis. Citizens are seeking more wholesome and viable options that would advance their lives and the life of the federation. It was the strong influence of the political Leader of PLP Dr. Timothy Harris whose experience and guidance provided the knot that was needed to manage the Unity Construct.
Kudos to PAM
The PAM leadership must be commended for their wisdom in embracing the idea that PLP is the linchpin of the Unity Construct. They recognized that in order to sit at the decision making table in government they would have to fuse their influence and presence in the political arena with other political parties. Although PAM had enough support to have representatives in government essentially running on a Unity ticket maximized their affluence.
PLP Has a Commitment
The People’s Labour Party has a huge mandate. Persons from all political persuasions have made PLP their political home of choice. All the branches should be properly organized, meaning that each constituency must have active executives whose responsibility should include building out and expanding the party. There must always be an open door policy, embracing disgruntled members of other political parties, reaching out to new voters and prospective members. The party should always maintain its high level of influence within the unity construct.
The People’s Labour Party must not become complacent but continue to be vigilant and well organized. It must be active, with a sense of transparency and democracy in order to remain a force to be reckoned with. This political institution must reach the youths in a more aggressive way if they are to emerge as the most popular political party in the federation. Building and maintaining relationships with their team members, the People’s Action Movement and the Concern Citizens Movement, is paramount for future of the party. An open minded approach welcoming all and sundry who would want to be affiliated with the People’s Labour Party is encouraged.
LONG LIVE PLP, the linchpin to the UNITY MOVEMENT