By: Precious Mills
BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (JANUARY 2018)- Hon. Joseph Parry of District 5 St. Thomas, the only elected candidate of the opposition Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) following the December 2017 local Nevis elections, still remains in the party leadership seat although a countdown is on is on for him to vacate the position.
In his New Year message, communicated via a video presentation publicised this week, he revealed that is intends to step down shortly.
“Firstly, let me make it clear what my intentions is. My intention, over the next few weeks, is to step down as leader of the Nevis Reformation Party. It is important that I give that party the opportunity to organise their transition period so that we can have a smooth movement from the present situation to one that will strengthen the party for the future,” he said.
Parry’s speech has come after a period of silence after the elections held on Monday 18th December.
Two days after polling day, (Wednesday 20th December), information began circulating that Parry had resigned from his leadership position which he has held over 20 years.
As part of the New Year’s opening statement, he disclosed that “I’ve been asked by the executive members of the Nevis Reformation Party to deliver this address on their behalf to you the people and residents of Nevis.”
Parry has also shared that a number of young people have reached out to him indicating their interest to take up the leadership position.
“The Nevis Reformation Party has considerable support from the young people of Nevis and I’m satisfied by the attempts to reach me and to speak to me that we have a cadre of young persons who are interested in taking the flag in taking the baton forward.”
Parry continued: “I have served for 30 years. I have served for 38 years in the public service without counting my teaching experience. It is time to refresh myself and move in another direction and pass that baton on but I can assure you and all those young people (that) I’ll be there to advise and assist in any way I can. I want to see this country move forward not only in the development of young people but true development.”
The NRP leader and former Premier congratulated the Concerned Citizen Movement (CCM) led by the newly-elected first time Premier Hon. Mark Brantley in their victory at the polls.
The senior politician offered some advice to the young CCM head (Brantley) saying: “Be humble in your victory. I myself have always embrace humility and I’ve understood that I’m a servant of the people and when a time comes to move aside, I must move aside with a smile. I am pleased with my 30 years (working) in public interest and 30 years in public service. I can walk away when the time comes with a smile on my face and with full knowledge that my character and integrity is fully maintained.”
Speaking on behalf of his party colleagues who took part in the recent elections namely Robelto Hector (District 1 St. Pauls), Hensley Daniel (District 2 St. John’s) and Corey Tyson and new comer Virgil Browne (District 4 St. James), he stated: “I am proud of the efforts they made-that we all made- in the recent elections.”
Parry informed that he has spoken with Hector who will challenge the seat in Charlestown “because he is dissatisfied with the results.”
He added: “He feels and the Party feels that there were a number of irregularities committed both in the electoral office and elsewhere to warrant his objecting and going to court on this very serious matter. I do hope the supporters of the Nevis Reformation Party and the public as a whole will support this move because it is very important that we have free and fair elections every time. That is what our democratic process is about.”
The NRP leader said he is content with the camping the NRP ran.
“I am satisfied that we had a good campaign. I’m also satisfied that the package we offered to the development of Nevis was the right one. Be that as it may, …those who voted in the elections made their choice and it is for us to accept the results they have been presented. That is not to say that we should not retire gracefully and be proud of our conduct and our past performances…”