If the St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party needed any indication after the recent February 16th General Elections as to where they stand politically they certainly got a very clear indication at their annual Labour Day March.
The March by Labour Day March standards was dismal. An estimated 800 plus participated in the march with another few hundred jamming with the Sugar Band . The procession was certainly a far cry from the thousands that packed the streets in 2014.
So the question is what has caused this demise in show of support and solidarity . The first and most obvious is the absence of Sugar Workers from the march. Former Sugar Workers of this country number into the thousands with almost 5000. Sugar Workers have traditionally supported the Labour Day March through the high and low times of the SKN Labour Party. However this year the Sugar Workers were largely absent. No doubt recent comments by Dr. Douglas regarding the $16 million payment that Sugar Workers will shortly receive has shown Sugar Workers that Dr. Douglas has no real use or love for them. His suggestion that somehow the workers were not owed any further monies or that they did not deserve anymore payments has obviously angered most Sugar Workers and this was reflected in the failed march.
The “warlike” style of the SKN Labour Party Leader is not appealing to anyone besides his diehard supporters. It is his “warlike” style that many have stated cost him the recent election. His continued “warlike” antics on the platform have further alienated many and has further tainted his entire team and platform including his so called Springtime Candidates , who were all summarily rejected at the recent polls.
The SKN Labour Party needs to change their strategy and relinquish their dependence on Dr. Douglas. Dr. Douglas without a doubt is the single biggest reason for their humiliating loss at the hands of the Team UNITY. It is unreasonable and foolish to expect that the same person who many pointed their fingers at as the single most significant factor in the loss of the SKN Labour Party at the recent election , could be expected to lead that party out of the doldrums of which he has led them. The SKN Labour Party requires a leadership change and it requires it now.
Who will be the best bet as leader of the SKN Labour Party? That’s an excellent question. Some will argue that the obvious choice is Party Chairperson Hon. Marcella Liburd. But at almost 65 years of age and in a seat in which she lost significant ground between the two last elections, would it be wise to make her leader? Especially when it seems almost certain that she will likely lose her seat come the next elections?
Then there is Dr. Terrance Drew who was touted as the heir apparent to Dr. Douglas. However with a crushing defeat at the hands of Hon. Eugene Hamilton his ascendency to the leadership was abruptly halted and gave many of his supporters within the party great pause as it seemed he was not as loved as many of them had thought. Despite his crushing defeat though Drew might still be a good bet to lead the SKN Labour Party out of the abyss. But he cannot do it as a candidate for Constituency#8. The Party will do well to ask the current leader to step down and place Dr. Drew in that Constituency#6 seat and have a bi-election and ensure that he has a safe seat as the new leader. Drew cannot lead the party whilst in a constituency he will constantly and consistently have a tremendously tough time trying to win.
So it seems the most likely choice for new leadership in the SKN Labour Party is Hon. Konris Maynard. Konris accomplished what many thought was a hugely difficult task. And that is defeat a 25 year much loved incumbent in Hon. Sam Condor. Although one can argue that the dynamics in Constituency #3 are unique Maynard no doubt pulled off a huge upset. Constituency#3 is no longer a Labour Safe seat however. Hon. Condor got over 1000 votes. More votes than any other candidate that has run against the Labour Party in that seat. Konris is young and vibrant and although he holds on to a seat that can easily be snatched from him by the next election his continued occupation of that seat through the next elections seems more certain than Hon. Marcella Liburd . Both Liburd and Maynard are certainly in much better position than Drew who is probably still having nightmares about the thumping he got at the hands of Hon. Hamilton.
Whatever the SKN Labour Party does one thing is certainly clear and that is a leadership change is absolutely necessary if they are to make any headway out of the doldrums of which they currently lay.