Three senior Labour Party ministers exited office and charged that theY found Former Prime Minister Denzil Douglas difficult to work with.
First to leave was Dwyer Astaphan. who left office July 31th,2008.
In a press release Mr. Astarphan issued to the media July 5 ,2008 , Mr. Astaphan wrote, “For some time, I have been engaged in a process of deep and broad reflection and prayer. This has led me in a particular direction. Consequently, about four months ago, I advised Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas, that I would stand down as a Minister of his Cabinet, effective 31st July, 2008.”
In 2005,Astaphan as Minister of Labour made the bad news list, locally, regionally and internationally when he by a policy change threatened to put Guyana-born journalist Clive Bacchus, who has been serving as the General Manager of the privately owned and operated WINN FM Radio in St. Kitts, on the breadline at the end of January 2005 as a result of “stiffer” regulations regarding work permit requirements in St.Kitts.At the end ,then Prime Minister Dr. Douglas stepped in and overrode the Minister by directing that Mr. Bacchus be immediately granted a work permit thus cooling the temperature.
The former minister of eleven portfolios emerged as one of Dr. Douglas’s harshest critics. He campaigned against the labour party and Dr.Douglas during the 2015 general election, canvassing for his two labour colleagues ,Condor and Harris and for the entire team unity slate which won the February 2015 election.
Mr. Douglas once referred to Astaphan as ‘like a spoiled child, when he does not get his way he takes up his marbles and runs home.
Astaphan, a lawyer by profession, now works in the private sector.
Following the 2015 Unity election win, the new government set sight on building an additional cruise ship pier,
Astaphan presented a company that he represents for the pier but BazarianInternational was not chosen by the Cabinet.
Astaphan is now a fierce critic of Prime Minister Harris
Sam Condor became Deputy Prime Minister following the 1995 general elections and remained in that position until January 31,2013 when he resigned from the cabinet citing questions about good governance and constitutional integrity concerns.
He had issues with the attempts by Dr. Douglas to increase the number of senators and the vesting of certain lands acts.
Mr. Condor vehemently criticized Douglas publicly over these and also the opening of an embassy in Dubai without input from Condor who was at the time foreign minister. Those events according to Condor ‘pushed him to a point of no return. But Dr. Douglas told us in an earlier interview that his relationship personal and professional with Condor ended a long time before that.
Douglas said it had more to do with Mrs. Condor accusing him of causing her departure from the St.Kitts hospital and preventing her from securing a coveted healthcare position at the St. Kitts Marriott. Douglas refers to Condor as a columondo.
After Condor lost his St. Kitts 3 seat during the Feb.16,2015 elections to Konris Maynard and unity formed the government, Condor told Harris that he wanted to be Governor General. What seemed to be a simple wish turned into a demand. When Harris discussed the matter with his fellow Cabinet colleagues it did not go down well. The PAM section disagreed and put forward alternatives and so did Mr. Amory for his CCM fraction. Harris was outnumbered PAM with four votes got its way. Harris was not happy. He wished that he could elevate his colleague and friend but he had only one vote and it was his own.
The next thing was to offer Condor an ambassadorial position. He was not going to be accepted by the United States because of previous problems. The United Stated yanked his visa back in the early 2000s and according to State Department officials in Washington DC with whom The Observer is familiar, Condor was reissued a visa a little more than two years ago with help from Harris.
Harris insisted that Condor must be appointed ambassador to the United Nations.