Outgoing leader of the opposition Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) Joseph Parry (left) symbolically passes the baton to the newly elected NRP leader Robelto Hector during the convention (NRP official photo)

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 26th October 2018) – The newly-elected leader of the opposition Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) Robelto Hector of Nevis 1 St. Paul’s has revealed that he used his 2006 winning newcomer campaign strategy some eleven years later to capture the top NRP leadership position following the party’s historic convention held earlier this week at the Jessup’s Community Centre in Nevis which saw the in-house election of a new executive committee.

After the ballots were counted on Sunday 21st October, Hector, a former government minister, emerged as the president of the party in becoming the successor of retiree and past premier Joseph Parry (of Nevis 5 St. Thomas) who led the NRP for over twenty (20),dating back to June 1992.

In January this year, Parry stepped down.

Hector’s only competitor NRP spokesman and former president of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) Dr. Kelvin Daly was voted the First Vice President while Bjorn Hanley got the Second Vice President position.

Other elected members of the new NRP executive committee are: Patrice Nisbett (Chairperson), Dr. Andrea Bussue (Deputy Chairperson), Chanelle Pinney- Myers (Party organiser), Sharon Hobson (Treasurer) and Tammie Farrel (Assistant Treasurer).

“[It’s a] great feeling; something that I’ve wanted and it was bestowed upon me by the good people of this beloved land”, commented Hector while interacting with reporters.
In that media chit-chat, he highlighted the party’s takeaway outlook on its political challenges in saying “…and so the exercise of losing would have taught us a lot and we are here to strengthen the party based on those projections and comments that came from our supporters.”

When asked by this reporter about what capturing the president position means to him personally, the new NRP leader touched on his newcomer successful period in sharing: “For me it is a great joy and responsibility, and for me to capture this position, I had to go back to basics. The same way I campaigned in 2006 that’s the same way of campaign I went back with and I believe that I understand what is required even more to make sure that you’re successful. I got the overwhelming support of the party and that I’m grateful for so it was a learning experience for me really; campaigning now to the entire party and becoming victorious.”

In July 2006, the NRP led by Parry won three out of five seats beating the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM).That was Parry’s first victory following 14 years in opposition.
Hector, then a fresh representative, captured the St. Paul’s seat with a total of 664 votes over Michael Perkins with 629 votes.

Again in the July 2011 Nevis local elections, NRP won Three out of five seats also and in July 2013, it was CCM’s turn at a three to five seat victory.

Parry and Hector won the two NRP seats in 2013.

In December 2017, CCM (a fraction of the Team Unity administration) won the Nevis local elections again in taking four out of five seats led by new Premier Mark Brantley, the party leader successor of Vance Amory. Up to then, for an eleven year span, Hector had occupied the Nevis 1 seat before losing by 11 votes to CCM’s Spencer Brand which saw a voting split of 585 to 596.

Parry was the only candidate to secure his NRP seat in 2017.

Hector, during this week’s interview, continued: “I want to say Dr. Daly, a formidable opponent; he’s the first vice president, and equally our friendship continues and we would take this party forward. In preparing myself, I would tell you that I looked at some of the struggle of parties in the region and I didn’t realise that having an election means internal politics could be so troubling but I believe we did well; we haven’t any causalities, we are all friends and I believe now that this is the moment to unite the party and move on forward to greater things.”

The new NRP leader applauded Parry’s leadership.

“In any political party when there is a new leader, there is a transitioning that would take place. You would have heard that I gave the accolades to the Hon. Joseph Parry, our outgoing party leader who has kept us together for in excess of 20 years; that is not an easy feat and so it is my intention to stand on the successes, to learn from the failures of the party and to make sure that I usher this party into a new region with a new level of politics,” he said.

Section of the audience (Spokesman Snap)