BASSETERRE, ST. KTTS, (CUOPM) – A highly charged crowd Thursday evening October 17 gave a ringing endorsement for the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party’s candidate for West Basseterre (St. Christopher 3) Mr. Konris Maynard when he appeared on the first full slate of the party candidates led by the Prime Minister and Political Leader, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
The supercharged crowd went into frenzy, dancing, waving flags and placards, and sounding off vuvuzelas to the tune of the song ‘Unstoppable Force’, when Konris Maynard took to the stage at 10:57 pm.
Emceeing the evening’s activities was Deputy Prime Minister and Parliamentary Representative for East Basseterre (St. Christopher 1), the Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin who let it off the bat that the Labour Party was stronger, ready and confident, coming to the masses with a “new team with a new agenda.” He also said that its leader was like a postman because “he delivers.”
In the age-old tradition of keeping the best for last, Dr Martin kept the ever growing crowd on the tenterhooks with Konris being slotted in the seventh spot and Prime Minister Douglas in the eighth spot in the order of appearance. The crowd that was mostly clad in the party colours soon filled up the public parking lot between Best Buy and the NEMA offices and spilled into the neighbouring green areas and the supermarket’s parking area.
The second on the platform, after Dr. Martin was Dr Norgen Wilson, the candidate for St. Christopher Number 5, followed by the Hon. Glen Phillip Representative for St. Christopher Number 4. While Mr. Phillip was still on the podium, the crowd went wild with excitement spiced by Labour Party’s slogans following the arrival of the party’s Political Leader, and Prime Minister.
One of the Party’s three new candidates, Dr. Vance Gilbert of St. Christopher Number 7 injected more enthusiasm into an already supercharged crowd when he warned aspirants for the St. Christopher Number 3 seat that the Tiger did not need to be woken up as, “the Tiger is awake”, in reference to Konris Maynard’s calypso song, ‘Sleeping Tiger’.
The other new candidate, Dr. Terrence Drew of St. Christopher Number 8 was greeted by the crowd to the tune of the reggae song ‘One Love’. While he addressed the crowd, a LIAT plane passed overhead on its way to the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport regarded as not just watching the massive Labour meeting, but a salute to the huge crowd but also a ringing endorsement of Team Labour led by Prime Minister Douglas.
The Hon. Marcella Liburd who is the representative for Basseterre Central (St. Christopher Number 2), and dubbed the ‘Royal Lady’, told the crowd that what happened in the USA where the government recently shutdown is what almost happened in St. Kitts and Nevis in December 2012, when the two Labour Party dissent members of parliament were conspiring to defeat the 2013 Budget.
She had a sound advice for them: “They can’t shut down this country because the people have full confidence in Labour.” She also made a revelation about the party colour that has been adopted by the touted Unity Movement when she said: “White is the colour signifying surrender.”
It was prime time when the Constituency’s candidate moved to the podium. The crowd rhythmically danced to the song ‘Unstoppable Force’ for several minutes when he calmed the cheering masses.
“West Basseterre’s time has come. It is time for us to feel proud again; to feel good again; to feel loved again; to feel like somebody cares for you again.”
Mr. Maynard reminded his listeners that West Basseterre has always been a Labour constituency since 1946. He said it was not by chance and narrated how Sir Joseph Nathaniel France had shaped up the constituency and passed it to another Labour man (Hon. Sam Condor) who despite the number of years as the elected representative did very little for the people of West Basseterre.
“My vision is clear of what I want to see my West Basseterre looking like,” said Mr Maynard. “I am here to win big for you.”
Saying the most important asset for West Basseterre was its young people, he announced that he had set up the West Basseterre Primary School All-round Student Scholarship Award for two best students to attend high school, one each from the Bronte Welsh Primary School and Dr. William Connor Primary school.
“After 24 years of a particular representative, I could not find any existing programme to pay tribute to our children,” lamented Maynard. “My guess is that his hands were tied. But mine are not tied. Konris is here to win big for the children of West Basseterre. In fact, the scholarship award will be made retroactive. Some of the students who have already entered high school you will get the scholarship award,” he announced
The youthful Maynard promised to work with the Ministry of Education to develop an After School Homework Assistance Programme where they will approach past teachers, present teachers and those in the constituency who would be willing to make it a reality so as to assist the schoolchildren, as he noted that it takes a village to raise a child.
Mr. Maynard said that West Basseterre had a lot to offer and he proposed that the Buckley’s Site could be turned into a treasure, a kind of a moving museum, where tourists could come to see the artefacts of the country’s history.
“You have now seen the light and you see that this is the party of the future and of the past” said Mr Maynard as he concluded his address. “It is about hope and not despair. Reach out to all of them and bring them back, there is room on the train for them.
“Now I understand that an undemocratically elected want-to-be leader tell me I must finish the song. Finish the song, you are asking the King six times to finish the song? When the King starts to sing, PAM people does forget there is PAM; Labour people does feel happy; the country does forget its worries. Do you really want me to finish the song? If I finish the song everybody know who I will be advising, and based on my track record, Labour will win and win and win big.”
The toast of the meeting was Labour’s Political leader, the Rt. Hon Dr Denzil Douglas. If the crowd was supercharged, he was hyper-charged. He asked the roaring that had vuvuzelas renting the cool night air, if they wanted him to ring the bell. He had carried a bell. The crowd roared in the affirmative.
“This is the biggest of all meetings since the elections of 2010,” exclaimed Dr Douglas. “And you know who is responsible for that? The King himself; Konris Maynard.
“Constituency Number 3 has always been Labour from the time of Adult Suffrage in 1952 and even before that when the electoral system was properly introduced in St. Kitts and Nevis. And then you have a man elected by the people of Constituency Number 3 after being handed a whole constituency that belonged to Sir Joseph Nathaniel France after he nurtured it, handed it to him on a platter and he wants to give our constituency over to PAM. Never, I say.
“That is why tonight, the people have found their own leader; the people have called Konris Maynard as their own champion and leader in Constituency Number 3. When I asked him, Konris why do you want to join this team at this time, he said, Mr Prime Minister I am a winner, I know how to win and I will win big for the people of Constituency Number 3.