Dear citizens of this beloved Federation.
I take the occasion of the final announcement of the date for general parliamentary elections, to greet and address you, as we enter this critical phase in our democratic process.
The announcement of the date for General Elections, as we know, was not voluntarily made, but forced out of a Prime Minister who has abandoned every principle upon which Team Unity was forged and built, seven years ago.
This occasion witnesses the most important General Elections possibly in the history of our Federation, and since the dawn of Universal Adult Suffrage. The outcome will determine whether or not our twin-island Federation reverts to the path of broken promises, manipulation of the parliamentary system in an attempt to sustain undemocratic governance, or continue along a path of uncertainty, subversion of the sovereign will of the people, as we have experienced in these latter waning days of Prime Minister Timothy Harris, or forge a future together, based on solid principles, universal development of the state, respecting our institutions, and providing a future of prosperity and a fair share for all.
This occasion also allows me to retrace the important steps and the advances made by Team Unity and previous PAM administrations, in the days before democracy was derailed, undermined, and eventually held hostage.
Fellow citizens, you will recall that many of the very important gains in this Nation were Pam-inspired. While many were busy pointing out what could not be done, PAM did it.
Other important gain – the social program
PAM created the first Citizenship by Investment Programme in the world, on the backs of which this country was thrust into a rapid development agenda, such as was never seen in our region.
At a time when programmes like CBI are coming under the microscope, globally, as concerned citizens, we must spare no effort in working to restore the integrity of the programme, so that it can be made to work, to provide better housing and healthcare, higher education and scholarships; better infrastructure, more training, and more access to resources to build a small business or own your own home—and empower individuals and families. Our CBI programme must be transparent and must be made to stand up to the scrutiny to which it will no doubt be subjected by the global powers that be.
Four decades ago, PAM’s policies advanced this Nation, and we are still seeing the benefits of those today. Four decades ago. Older than many of you. PAM has always been a party of visionaries, and forward-thinkers, who are less interested in self-aggrandizement, and more interested in enhancing lives. PAM’s policies outlast PAM’s years in government. That, fellow citizens, is leadership in which you can trust and believe.
Even in the most recent Team Unity Administration, the PAM representatives in Cabinet were the architects of the tourism thrust and success that we have seen. PAM’s tourism agenda has worked in the face of an unprecedented pandemic, and we will ensure that it continues working by expanding our room stock and visitor experience and increasing airlift. Tax breaks, grants, and other incentives will be afforded to those—especially young people—who are interested in creating their own tourism businesses, such as building Airbnb properties.
These are some of the covenants that PAM is making with you, our beloved sisters and brothers of this dear Nation.
As we reflect on the gains previously made, our nation must accordingly be saddened by the backward steps taken by Prime Minister Harris in his pursuit of a selfish personal agenda, only so he could exert his will on the people—and as he has said, all because he is the prime minister and he calls the shots.
But, perhaps, his most telling character accomplishment, revealing his moral bankruptcy, and how unfit he is for office, is his near-sighted pursuit of constructing the 2.4 billion dollar prison project, in these times in which so many Kittitians and Nevisians are crying out for assistance with basic needs and other priorities necessary for survival, empowerment, and improved circumstances.
Hundreds of millions of dollars should go to advance healthcare, tertiary education for the youth, skills training, and moving our country along the cutting edge of ICT and the creative economy, creating great possibilities for employment of young people by connecting our job market to the world—all this money is now being surreptitiously squandered. And even when this grand scheme is exposed, and one would think that a decent-minded citizen would certainly hit the brakes, Dr. Harris’ feet are firmly on the accelerator of this ill-advised prison project, in which few citizens would realize any benefit.
…But, all is not lost. We can and will take solace in the fact that when Dr. Harris announced August 5th as Election Day, in effect he announced Liberation Day, and we the people, under the banner of PAM and CCM, will, as certain as night follows day, march victoriously to freedom and liberation.
We will not go back to either the unreformed Labour Party that is salivating at the thought of having access once more to the treasury of the Federation, or to Harris’ mal-administered adventure of the last few months.
PAM and CCM have run a campaign based on substance over hype, and agenda over rhetoric.
We continue to lay out an agenda based on our Federation re-imagining and re-designing a healthier, cleaner, greener, more sustainable, more secure, more affordable, and more prosperous future.
Bold. Audacious. Visionary. But that is PAM. We did it 40 years ago, and we are still doing so today.
The challenges of the times call for courageous, effective, and transparent leadership and action.
The challenges call for unity of purpose and vision. The challenges call for people-centred policies that address the challenges we face.
The interests of the people must be placed back at the centre of this Federation’s policies and programmes, to help us realize the future that Kittitians and Nevisians expect and deserve.
Our agenda is exclusively concentrated on making this a more just and inclusive society that brings government closer to the people, to realize economic growth and development.
Our agenda is focused on creating and securing sustainable jobs, more opportunities, and a better standard of living for you and your families—in construction, infrastructure, in food security, in tourism, in entrepreneurship, in Information Technology.
This country of Kim Collins and Kieran Powell, and (Atiba Harris, Two names of young, bright/accomplished people), will empower our young people—in leadership, in business, in education, in mentorship and training, in ICT, in music, sports, and the creative industry.
PAM and CCM’s Dream Fund, Homeownership Grants and other programmes, will fund those dreams and take you to higher heights, narrowing the income and achievement gaps, for a more equitable society.
Our elderly, the backbone of this Nation, will have a decent standard of health and social care, social security and pensions, to live out their golden years in a land to which they have toiled and laboured, and given their blood, sweat and tears. This land is determined to give back to them a well-earned comfortable life.
And we have the means to do so—to realize the agenda that can touch every life in a positive and meaningful way. The Citizenship by Investment Programme and other GDP indicators, like tourism, can afford a higher living standard to every man, woman, boy and girl in our Federation.
Liberation day is coming. Empowerment, jobs, and opportunities are coming, on Friday, August 5
Our Manifesto is the roadmap to a better life for every Kittitian and Nevisian, and throughout this campaign, we will continue to detail every aspect of the plans that we have prepared and presented to you, after listening to you, and consulting with you, the citizens.
And as we march to liberation day, we will continue to run a campaign on the same principle in which we will govern this Nation, if afforded the privilege—substance, service, and selflessness.
Our campaign, like our government, will be focused on the things that matter to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
So, as we move toward Election Day, I urge all citizens to keep a discerning mind, to distinguish between empty promises, and real policies and opportunities. I call on you to continue the great march of our foreparents, who battled against enslavement and plantation exploitation, and naysayers and skeptics, and who laid the foundation for our modern state, which now finds itself at a crossroads. We can either go forward with PAM or backward with the others.
The choice is clear. The time is now. The priorities are pressing.
Elections are about choices.
And, I am confident that you will support PAM and CCM in forming a more enlightened government, delivering results, transforming lives, and creating opportunities for our very talented people, who have shown, whether it be in sport, culture, or academia, we can punch well beyond our weight.
Our prominent Kim Collins, (call a few other well-known in whatever field) awakened the world to the prowess of the people of a great small nation, fortified by the struggle of our ancestors, and working in unity with leadership that is inspirational and forward-looking.
Their work, their legacy, their opportunities, we will advance and bestow to the rest of this nation and to our subsequent generations.
And we will, because liberation day will come to this Federation on Friday, August 5.
I thank you, and may God richly bless our beloved Saint Kitts and Nevis, and all of you, as we are forever “A Nation bound together, with a common destiny. As stalwarts we stand, for justice and liberty.”