Above: incoming Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris
By the Caribbean Journal staff
In a major electoral shift, St Kitts and Nevis’ opposition parties banded together to win the country’s general elections this week.
The win ends two decades of rule by the St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party.
Team Unity, a collection of three parties that included the People’s Action Movement, the Concerned Citizens Movement and the People’s Labour Party, won 7 of 11 seats in Parliament.
Economist Dr Timothy Harris is the country’s new Prime Minister. He declared a national holiday on Wednesday following the vote “in commemoration of the people’s victory,” Harris said.
The results were, somewhat controversially, withheld until later on Tuesday, leading to public questioning from, among others, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Team Unity’s win brings to an end the nearly-20-year tenure of former Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas, who had been until Tuesday the currently longest-serving head of government in the Western Hemisphere.
He and his St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party were first elected in 1995, when Douglas was only 42.
The elections were held after a ruling by the London-based Privy Council ruled that electoral boundaries set by Parliament ahead of the election were not to be used; instead, existing electoral boundaries were employed in the vote.
Douglas conceded soon after the news of the election results.