By: Jermine Abel, SKNVibes.com
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AS the three major opposition parties in the Federation have commenced their campaign with the aim of criticising Prime Minister and Leader of the People’s Labour Party (PLP), Dr. Timothy Harris, reality is rapidly stepping in to see the impact his political organisation will have in the upcoming General Elections. Dr. Harris’ PLP currently holds two seats in the Government, which had made up two of the nine that the coalition Team Unity won in 2020.
At that time, the PLP had only fielded three candidates in constituencies in St. Kitts so as not to cause a division in votes between itself and its coalition partner, the People’s Action Movement (PAM). But now the party has expanded its footprint and is galvanising itself to field candidates in all eight constituencies on St. Kitts, which will gain votes in each of them, bringing to reality the effect that it can have on the outcome of some expected safe seats of the PAM and the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party.
However, some political pundits and many persons in the public domain believe that the “split voting” amongst the PLP and PAM could be key in determining the next government. For example, in any constituency where the PLP is fielding a candidate and those who voted to support the concept of Unity, some of those votes can be split between the two factions. That is the reality hitting the PAM, especially in constituencies that may be closely contested, more specifically with a third party in play.
Deputy Leader and former Government Minister, Lindsay Grant raised the issue in Constituency One, East Basseterre. That Constituency has been one where the margin of victory for a candidate is as little as one vote - supporting the argument that every vote counts.
In his presentation at the party’s town hall meeting in that constituency on Tuesday (May 24) evening, Grant championed the cause for his fellow colleague and party representative in the area, Natasha Grey-Brooks. “This election is a serious, serious election! This election is a serious election! And what I have been telling my constituents is that PLP ain’t in this race you know. PLP ain’t in this race! PLP ain’t in this race! What they want to be is a spoiler! What they want to be is a spoiler! We can’t allow them to get so many votes that they take away the win from Shanny. We can’t allow them to get many votes that they take away the win from Shanny,” Grant charged in Constituency One. During that meeting, Grant regularly reiterated that the PLP is a “spoiler party”, while emphasising that the impending General Elections are serious and should not be taken for granted. “This is not the time to leave out any house. This is not the time to say I ain’t going there or I ain’t going here. In fact, this is the time to bring all those who have gone astray home. Let them come home. And Shanny and team, I am saying to you, you have to make sure because this is politics. Everybody ain’t going to be happy at this time,” Grant said. In furtherance of his criticism, the Deputy Leader used strong words to describe the PLP and its Leader, with whom he had spent several years in Cabinet until his recent termination. “But you see, PLP is like a camouflage party. It is a fake party with a fake leader! That is the PLP,” Grant added. No date has been officially announced for the holding of General Elections, but all parties, with the exception of the PLP, have started to announce their slate of candidates and began their election campaign.