BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Wednesday 31st March 2021) – “One of the things we emphasized is that we hope it is not just for the optics (public perception). We hope that this is a step in the right direction where finally all persons can be involved in this very important discussion about COVID-19 and its effects on the country because at the end of the day COVID-19 transcends politics and we have to recognize that. It is about the people of St.Kitts and Nevis.”
So said the National Secretary of the St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party National Executive Diana Williams-Humphrey while speaking in a media update video after a meeting organized by the National COVID-19 Task Force with representatives of all political parties in St.Kitts and Nevis, held on Tuesday 30th March 2021 at the NEMA Headquarters located at Lime Kiln in Basseterre.
The other parties represented at the event were The Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) and the People’s Labour Party (PLP) and the People’s Action Movement (PAM).
Notably, PAM, CCM and PLP are the make-up parties forming the Team Unity coalition government led by Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris of PLP.
Williams-Humphrey described the session as having been an “important consultation with the task force with regard to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout programme.”
She told that the SKNLP emphasized that it supports vaccination “but we recognize that it’s a personal choice and for persons to make an informed choice there must be education, there must be sensitization and there must be consultation.”
“We did express that very clearly inside the meeting and we’re not against consultation; we are opened to consultation as long as at the end of the day we understand where our people are at in terms of their realities in St.Kitts and Nevis,” she added.
Meanwhile Konris Maynard, SKNLP’s candidate for Constituency Three highlighted that it was relayed to the Task Force that it took long to get to the point of such consultation.
“We did express our disappointment that it has taken 12 months or a year to date to invite the single largest political party in the Federation that commands the support of the single largest block of people in the country and so we were very clear on that that if there is an all of society approach then it is disheartening that it has taken 12 months for us to be invited in an official way to have consultations. That being said, we must know the St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party made strong representation on behalf of this country not just to deal with a vaccination rollout.”
“People are having suffer at the moment because of this pandemic and so it must be an all-inclusive approach,” Maynard notes whilst pointing to “severe difficulties” for persons in receiving severance payment as well as individuals who talk about experiencing challenges in feeding families and buying medication.
According to the SKNLP representative: “We were very very strong in that representation that people need help right now apart from the simple fact of getting someone vaccinated.”