Picture: Hon. Joseph Parry , Leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP)
Charlestown, Nevis(Thursday, August 25, 2016)-The Hon. Joseph Parry, leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) said Nevis is presently being “abandoned and neglected” under the present Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) led Nevis Island Administration who are also part of the UNITY-Federal government in St. Kitts.
Parry made the statement on Tuesday’s edition of Issues on Freedom FM as he referred to the much talked about landmark amendment to the NRP party constitution which includes the prohibition of NRP candidates to serve in both the Federal and Nevis Island Administration. The final result is that the NRP will field one set of candidates for Federal and one set of candidates for the Nevis Island Assembly.
The point of the amendment to the 46 year old constitution is to prohibit the same persons serving in the Federal government and in the Nevis Island Assembly.
“What we have done with the amendment is not to prevent our candidates from taking part in the Federal election but it is about no one person serving in the Federal and Nevis Island Administration at the same time”, commented Parry.
He went on to say that a number of persons who are content with the present arrangement is because they back Premier Vance Amory and Deputy Premier, Mark Brantley with the “double dipping” in both the Federal and Nevis Island Administration while people in Nevis are suffering with the lack of economic development.
“The people in the Federation are always saying this is wrong or you are not doing this right. Well I along with my NRP party took it upon us to do something tangible by not just talking about change but by putting action forth,” commented Parry.
The programs host, E.K asked, “Well the Deputy Premier, Hon. Mark Brantley said that Former Premier Simeon Daniel collected two salaries.”
Hon. Parry told E.K and the listeners that Mr. Brantley should not misrepresent Mr. Daniel who was like a second father and a mentor to Brantley. “I was there and Daniel only collected a salary from the Federal government and a constituency allowance from Nevis, not a full salary”.
“Mr. Brantley should not say such things which are not true. The present Governor General- Tapley Seaton, Consie Mitchum, Hugh Heyliger, Richard Caines and Dr. Kennedy Simmonds are all alive and well, you can ask anyone of them,” stated Parry.
The leader of the Nevis Reformation Party was a representative for the parishes of St. James and St. Thomas in the Federal Parliament but resigned in 2000, stating that he wanted to focus on Nevis issues.
“ I believe that no man can serve two masters and that is why we are seeing that the two Nevisian ministers are in St.Kitts more than Nevis and Nevis is not being developed instead Nevis is simply taking hand outs from St.Kitts. The CCM administration are doing nothing to bring economic progress to Nevis . Nothing is being done on the island to take the island forward,” said Hon. Parry.
Numerous calls came in where people were blatantly upset with the “double dipping” of the two Nevisian ministers. One caller congratulated the NRP on the landmark amendment stating, “It is not just a political move Mr. Parry… it is a national move forward.”
That statement ties into a concept aligned to a recent commentary on SKNVIBES by VonDez Phipps who outlined three main reasons that the NRP constitution amendment should be a national issue:
It removes a damning conflict of interest: As a member of the NIA pursues, as a priority, matters of concern to Nevis, whilst a member of the Federal government focuses on matters concerning St.Kitts- Nevis. These two interests converge but many times they conflict and compete. An example is the dual role of Deputy Premier Mark Brantley as he is Minister of Tourism in Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation in St.Kitts. Brantley is the face of Nevis tourism which is separate and sometimes competes. As aviation minister to the Federal government, do Brantley attract more airlifts to St.Kitts or Nevis?
It ensures accountability through the separation of powers: For example- the decision of the Federal government to assist the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) with budgetary support in the amount of $10 million. It was in the interest of the NIA members to argue for the manifesto promise to be fulfilled without delay however, as they are Federal dollars, it was in the interest of the Federal government to have a parliamentary debate to assure the people of St.Kitts and Nevis that this measure is in the best interest of the Federation.
It refocuses the NIA to be distinctly Nevisian: Under the present UNITY arrangement the political expedience is unprincipled, it generates split loyalties, undermines local government and is of little benefit to Nevis.
Many others called in to the program congratulating Parry and the NRP. One significant female caller said, “Mr. Parry, I have backed you ever since I saw your stance with the hotel in Nevis (Four Seasons Resort -Nevis). I admired what you did for the people since then!” To that statement Hon. Parry declared, “I don’t enjoy victimizing my people, I enjoy fighting for my people.”