“Looking for Sympathy”

Commentary by: Charles Williams

For months, the Unity Construct has been trying its best to regionalize its efforts to bring down the government of Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas. It boggles the mind of reasonable people to imagine that governments of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States would choose to inject themselves into the internal politics of an independent member State. Such an act by an individual OECS Member would certainly set a precedent, but concerted action of that nature by the entire OECS acting as a body is as unlikely as a snowflake surviving for longer than a millisecond in a 1000-degree Centigrade furnace.

There have been occasions in the past when individual heads of regional governments, acting as their capacity as leaders of their political parties, have chosen to become involved in the internal politics of neighbor countries. Such behavior tends to crop up during election season, when one or other of the contending parties imports a “big name” political star from overseas to beef up their appeal to voters by delivering the keynote address at a major campaign rally. At such times, the public relations machinery will make great play of the speaker’s eminent position as a Head of Government, but everyone knows that the hype is just that: a lot of hot air. Beneath all the hoop-la, the great man (or woman) is simply doing a favor for an ideological fellow traveler – and enjoying a little ego-boosting escape from the political grind at home.

No regional government has ever adopted a formal substantive position either in support of or against any matter of internal politics affecting a partner nation. And so, the prospect of the OECS Assembly acting to censure or sanction a Member State on an internal political matter is slim to the point of nonexistence. Furthermore, such action forms no part of the remit of the OECS Assembly. OECS technocrats have already knocked that ball out of play: the advice is that the subject is off limits at OECS level.

It will also be rather interesting to see if the OECS Assembly will entertain any submissions or petitions from an opposition group that is currently boycotting the parliament of their home country. Logic would appear to indicate that a boycott of a home parliament should equate to a boycott of a regional assembly. After all, active membership in the home parliament is a sine qua non for membership in the regional assembly.

The Unity Construct seems intent on looking for sympathy from regional political figures in its campaign to draw attention to political issues that are purely internal to the federation of St Kitts & Nevis. On occasion, some regional personalities – both current and former Heads of Government – have made comments when pressed to do so. Notwithstanding all the foregoing, the Unity Construct, lacking support at home, will continue to seek aid and comfort wherever it can – after all, misery loves company.

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