Reasons for “Unity” Governments: St. Kitts-Nevis Minister of Social Development Explains


(Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 29, 2013) — St. Kitts-Nevis Minister of Social Development, the Honorable Marcella A. Liburd is pointing out that Unity Governments are often formed as a result of political parties having performed poorly at the ballot box and she is also drawing clear distinctions between the electoral strength of the ruling St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and the performance of political parties in countries where coalition or unity governments have had to be introduced. Particularly unusual, according to Minister Liburd, is the fact that some politicians in St. Kitts-Nevis have announced, even before an election has been held, that they will form a unity government.

“Unity governments are usually formed only after an election has already been held, and after the parties involved realize that none of them won enough seats to form the government” the Minister explained. Local politicians agreeing in advance to form a unity government, therefore, the Minister points out, is a telling admission by those parties involved that none of their parties, on their own, is able to win a national election in St. Kitts-Nevis, hence the attempt to stitch together various parties and individuals in the hope of creating a government.

Minister Liburd was addressing a public meeting in West Basseterre on April 28, 2913 and made reference to countries such as Israel and Italy, two nations in which some parties have established coalition or unity governments in recent times, as a result of neither of them being able to win a majority of seats in their country.

Noting the social and political stability for which St. Kitts-Nevis has long been known, Minister Liburd urged Kittitians and Nevisians to make certain that this country remains on its clear, certain, and stable political path. Reminding her audience of the political instability for which Italy has long been known, she also reminded them that not only has Italy had to put together a “unity” government in recent days, but that country “from the end of World War II until the present, has managed to have only one Government – one government in sixty-eight years – that managed to complete the term to which it had been elected.”

Indeed, even though Italy’s most recent election was in February 2013, the many and varied parties could not agree on a ‘unity’ way forward, leaving the Italian people without a functioning government from that time until now. And we’re now being told, just today, two months after the election results came in, that a “unity” government is being put in place” she said. This is not the kind of uncertainty that we want to encourage in St. Kitts-Nevis, the Minister stressed.

Israel, the Minister pointed out, is a country to which the Opposition often points as a shining example of a “unity” government. She explained, however, that a number of political parties in Israel recently had no choice but to patch a government together, due to none of them having performed very well at the polls – unlike in St. Kitts-Nevis and many countries around the world, where the people sent a clear statement as to exactly who they wished to lead their nations.

This clarity is a good thing, Minister Liburd maintained. And this is the type of clarity that Kittitians and Nevisians must exhibit whenever they go to the polls to make choices that will affect the direction of our nation for generations to come.

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