BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 19TH 2014 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has expressed congratulations to Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne on his Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) recent election victory.
Speaking at a public event attended by thousands of Antiguans and Barbudans at the Antigua Recreation Ground, the St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, who received thunderous applause during his presentation, told Prime Minister Browne that he has led his party “in a way that upholds the most time honoured and sacred principles of democratic governance.”
“And the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party is a party well worth leading. And a number of years ago, Mr. Prime Minister, you decided that you could lead this great party, with competence and with vision, into a brighter future. You pursued this goal, however, while adhering to the rules and regulations of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party. You did this while ensuring that the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party continued to have the benefit of your strengths, your skills and your presence. You ensured that whatever your own vision for this great party, you would work within the party to keep the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party intact and strong. Strong to take that massive victory which you delivered last week Thursday for the benefit of the people of Antigua and Barbuda and the region,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who recalled that the great party was begun by the first prime minister of Antigua & Barbuda, the Right Honourable Vere C. Bird.
“And then, the people of this nation elected his esteemed son, the Honourable Lester B. Bird, Senior Minister designate who unfortunately is not here with us today. But he has and was elected to serve as your second prime minister of your beloved country. Please join me in a round of applause for the Honourable Lester B. Bird, former Prime Minister of this great nation, Antigua and Barbuda,” said Dr. Douglas.
He noted that too often persons take for granted that which is truly precious just because they have had it for a very long time.
“May the people of Antigua and Barbuda be forever aware of how fortunate you are: You are not one of those countries in which people do not have the right to vote. You are not among those nations which hold elections, but they are terribly flawed. And you are not, thank God, one of those countries in which election results have simply been ignored. You are blessed to know nothing of those weights, and nothing of those burdens,” Prime Minister Douglas said.
He noted that the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, which he is honoured to lead, is the sister-organization of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party.
“And I congratulate Prime Minister Browne, his Cabinet, and the Party at having secured such a compelling victory. You have given me the inspiration, you have given my party the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party the inspiration for a similar massive defeat whenever we call our elections very shortly in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr. Douglas.
He pointed out that he has known and worked with Prime Minister Browne for many years, having been introduced to him by the former Prime Minister Lester Bird and the newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Economic Development and Energy, Asot Anthony Michael.
“The members of the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party, they have chosen Gaston Browne to lead the party. The people of Antigua and Barbuda have now chosen him and your party to lead this nation. This evening I ask of you full support to the Prime Minister and his new cabinet. Full Confidence. Full Support to Gaston Browne and his new members of the cabinet,” said Dr. Douglas.
The fourth-term Prime Minister told his new Caribbean colleague of his commitment and that of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is committed to working with him and his Government, both within CARICOM as well as on a bilateral basis, to advance the interests of the two nations – and, indeed, to advance the interests of the Caribbean region.
“I say to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, St. Kitts and Nevis, the government of which I am leading, we stand ready to receive a delegation from you here so that we can show you how we are doing it and you then will do it better than us. I say to you finally that you and your esteemed government can depend upon me for support and exchange of ideas that will move forward not only the progressive agenda for the people of Antigua and Barbuda but the agenda of the Caribbean Region,” said Dr. Douglas.
Dr. Douglas also used the opportunity to commend the Honourable Baldwin Spencer, the immediate past Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, and his United Progressive Party, for readily accepting the will of the people of this proud and progressive nation.
“His and his party’s position has brought honour both to themselves and to your proud nation,” said the Prime Minister.