A Canadian-educated economist is St. Kitts & Nevis’ new Prime Minister.
Timothy Harris, who graduated in 2001 with a doctorate in accounting from Concordia University, led the Team Unity Party to victory at last Monday’s polls.
The party, which comprises the People’s Action Movement (PAM), the People’s Labour Party (PLP) and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), swept aside the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) and Dr. Denzil Douglas, who was seeking to become the first Caribbean leader to win five consecutive elections.
Kittitian-born Toronto lawyer, Leroy Crosse, supports the leadership change.
“There is absolutely no reason for anyone to be in power continuously for so long,” he said. “St. Kitts & Nevis has done fairly well under Douglas in terms of development and the education of its people, but it’s time for change. New blood and a fresh set of ideas are needed to move the country forward at this time.”
Though final results of the elections were still pending as of Tuesday night, Team Unity had secured six of the 11 seats, while the SKNLP had won three.
The Team Unity Party winners so far are Ian Liburd, Lindsay Grant, Shawn Richards, Mark Brantley, Vance Amory and Dr. Harris, who was dismissed from the SKNLP two years ago for opposing the government-sponsored Senators Bill to increase the membership from three to six and a controversial land for debt legislation.
Former deputy Prime Minister Sam Condor, who left the party two days after Douglas fired Harris, lost to calypsonian Konris Maynard, who has a Master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo. At the time, Condor cited “issues with good governance and constitutional integrity” as his reasons for stepping down.
A former SKNLP chair, Harris was awarded a Canadian International Development Agency scholarship to pursue doctoral studies in Canada after completing his Master’s with distinction at the University of the West Indies.
As PM since 1995, Douglas was the longest serving national leader and head of government in the Americas.
He congratulated the winners and thanked Kittitians and Nevisians for allowing him to lead the country for two decades.
“We, here in St. Kitts & Nevis, are among the blessed of the earth because our governments are chosen not by force, not by decree, not by the whim of any force or interest, but by the will of the people,” he said in his concession speech. “May we, the people of St. Kitts & Nevis, never ever forget how truly blessed this makes us.”