The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, commends the electorate of Nevis who are going to the polls today, Monday, December 18th, 2017, to vote in the local elections.
Reflecting on the elections process, Prime Minister Harris noted that the people of Nevis have succeeded in maintaining calm, peace and stability during what has been a very robust campaign waged between the ruling Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) and the opposing Nevis Reformation Party (NRP).
The Honourable Prime Minister said that his Team Unity Government would respect the election outcome regardless of which political party wins later today. “The Federal Government, of course, believes in democracy; democracy is what got us into office. I trust that everything will go well in accordance with the richest traditions of parliamentary democracy.”
Reflecting on the state of the union between St. Kitts and Nevis, Prime Minister Harris acknowledged that the Concerned Citizens Movement has ushered in a new era of good relations with the Federal Government and of steady progress for the people of Nevis.
This never-before-seen coming together of the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has given rise to increased optimism and opportunities for the people of Nevis, which is a positive result that the Honourable Prime Minister looks forward to seeing continue.
“The CCM is our partner, so we are looking forward to welcoming their return to the NIA in the context of the very good relationship that now exists between the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said, adding that there is now “a new season of amicability, goodwill and cooperation, which has been engendered over the last 34 months.”
Prime Minister Harris also said, “We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the current CCM NIA administration, and we believe that this relationship has brought many good things, such as the historic first of Nevis being able to advance its own development agenda with positive support of the Federal Government.”
The Honourable Mark Brantley has stated that, “In 2013, before Unity, the SIDF [the St. Kitts-Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation] spent $95,474,153.00. Every copper was spent in St. Kitts. Not a penny of that money reached Nevis…Unity took office in 2015, and look at the difference!”
Minister Brantley further stated that, “From the same SIDF, we got $6 million for a pier in Nevis, $2.5 million for the upgrade of sporting facilities, for the geothermal project $7.7 million, for the Mondo-designed athletic track $10 million, for the airport runway $2 million, for the control tower $1.5 million, for the Alexandra Hospital $9 million, for equipment for the Long Point Port $1 million, for the purchase of a generator by NEVLEC [the Nevis Electricity Company power station] $13.5 million, for our Treasury that was burnt down and is being rebuilt $6.5 million, for our water project $2.5 million…In less than two years of Unity, that comes up to $62.2 million.”
In addition to this $62.2 million from the SIDF, the Nevis Island Administration received – in less than two years – regular budgetary support from the Federal Government in the amount of $51.16 million. Minister Brantley explained that this regular budgetary support arrangement represents a pro-rata share of passport processing fees.
The Honourable Mark Brantley has compared this with the years 2006 to 2015 – before the Team Unity administration came into office in February 2015. “Nevis received $17.3 million in those 10 years compared with $51.16 million in less than two years under Team Unity,” Minister Brantley said, reiterating that a total of $113.36 million was made available to Nevis in less than two years.
Today, Monday, December 18th, 2017, the people of Nevis are voting in their local elections.