St Kitts and Nevis’ current Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, lost his bid for re-election in yesterday’s national election. The largely unsupported and controversial leader of the People’s Labour Party (PLP) was voted out of office, and the St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) is poised to take back control of the country’s government.

The SKNLP was declared as the winner of the general election after a seven-year absence from majority leadership. The country’s main opposition party won six of the 11 contested seats on the two island Federation. Preliminary figures were released by the Supervisor of Elections, Elvin Bailey, after the polls closed last night.

As a result of the SKNLP winning the majority in the National Assembly, the elected seats will be filled by Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, Marsha Henderson, Konris Maynard, Samal Duggins, Dr. Denzil Douglas and Dr. Terrance Drew. The latter is poised to replace Harris to become the fourth Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis.

Harris’ lost bid for re-election after he was forced to hold the election three years before the constitutional deadline. The early election was set into motion after his Cabinet colleagues filed a motion that they no longer had confidence in him and his leadership abilities.

Drew, a Cuban trained medical practitioner who leads the SKNLP, campaigned on the need to liberate the country from the clutches of the coalition Team Unity government. He received 2,950 votes, the highest number in the election, while Harris received 1,266 votes.

Shawn Richards of PAM celebrated Drew’s win during a broadcast earlier today. “So far based on the results I have heard in St. Kitts it appears that the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party has won a majority of the seats and so I say congratulations to Dr. Terrence Drew and the rest of his team.”

“To that party I say the voters have spoken…ultimately you have a responsibility to all of the voters in St. Kitts-Nevis and as such you must look out for all of the people,” Richards, who was elected for a fifth consecutive time as the parliamentary representative for St. Christopher Constituency Number 5, added.

Regional political analyst and pollster, Peter Wickham and political strategist, Hartley Henry also chimed in on the election. They said that they don’t expect the PLP and Harris to have any influence in the political future of the Federation. The duo also feel that his defeat in the Prime Minister race may also signal the end of his political career, which has spanned more than 25 years.

Former prime minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, who’s one of the longest serving leaders in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that he supports Drew. The latter took over the SKNLP’s leadership last year when Douglas stepped down after 33 years of service.

Former Jamaica prime minister, Bruce Golding, the head of the Observer Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS), an observer group that monitored the election with the CARICOM, commented on the broadcasting of the election’s results. “One recommendation that we have consistently made, in 2011 and again in 2015, is that we need to avoid any extended period of time between the closing of polls and the declaration of the results,” he said during a news conference. “People need to know that when a government takes office, that government was properly elected.”

Golding also noted that the OAS mission will urge the new government to “attend to the issues of electoral reform and to do it early; to have the necessary discussions, consultation; not only among the political parties but with the society, with the public; have them properly informed so that we can have those improvements put in place long before the next elections are due.”

As ShockYa has previously reported, the extremely conservative Harris received criticism in June 2020 when he was being considered for re-election. In an effort to gain more support when his numbers in the polls were dropping, he posted photos of himself celebrating Gay Pride Month on his Instagram page. He later deleted his entire account after voters questioned his motives for posting the pictures.

Harris has also fought charges of bribery, corruption and nepotism during his time as an elected official, ShockYa also reported. He was also accused of being involved in real estate and vaccine scams throughout his tenure as Prime Minister. As a result, the voters of Saint Kitts and Nevis have spoken out to stop the outgoing Prime Minister from rigging any more elections to stay in power, and turning country into an outright dictatorship.

To continue following Saint Kitts and Nevis’ 2022 election results coverage, visit its Facebook page.

Dr. Timothy Harris has not been reelected as Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister.

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By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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