The Hon. Mark A.G Brantley is Nevis’ fourth Premier after his Concerned Citizen Movement (CCM) Party was successful at the polls, Monday, securing a new fiver year mandate in an election marred by a low voter turnout of 58% down from the last election in 2013.
Brantey, in celebrating the win, called on Nevisians to forget their political differences and come together in the spirit of Christmas.
District One had an upset where the incumbent Robelto Hector of the NRP narrowly lost his seat to Spencer Brand by 585 to 596 votes, ending his ten year hold of that constituency.
District Two had Brantley successfully thwarting a challenge from Hensley Daniel 1334 to 1000 to keep his seat in the assembly while District Three had newcomer Eric Evelyn easily dispatching NRP’s Cory Tyson 761-233 votes in the seat vacated by the Hon. Vance Amory.
In District Four the incumbent Alexis Jeffers of CCM hammered NRP’s newcomer Virgil Browne 833-528 votes, while NRP’s only victory came in District Five with their leader Joseph Parry sweeping aside Keith Scarborough of the CCM 518 to 229.
The CCM won four of the five seats on offer increasing on their previous narrow 3-2 majority.
Brantley will now replace the retiring Hon. Vance Amory as Premier of the Nevis Island Administration. Brantley was sworn in as Premier Tuesday evening at the High Court in Charlestown.
Speaking after their sweeping victory that was confirmed at 3:00a.m Tuesday morning, Brantley labelled their victory as not only a victory for CCM, but a victory for Nevis.
“We now have an opportunity to go into the Christmas season and I am saying now we must heal Nevis. There’s been a lot of division and divisiveness. Political campaigns by their nature are divisive, but we now have an opportunity to really put good meaning and real meaning to the idea of Christmas, the sentiment of Christmas.”
He continued, “So let us now live with each other as Christ would have us live with each other and let me ask God’s blessings upon us as a new leadership for Nevis, but for also upon the island of Nevis. We cannot do it without God’s blessings and I ask you to pray for us, to pray for Nevis, to pray for your premier, to pray for the Cabinet. To pray for good leadership, decent leadership that would take us forward.”
Brantley also hailed Amory for the work he has done as the islands political leader and having served in the assembly for over 27 years.
“I want to thank the Hon. Vance Amory, because without him, none of this would have been possible. He is the one who built the foundation on which we now stand. Vance Winkworth Amory, thank you. Thank you for your service. Thank you for being the man who you are because you have allowed others now to come and, because of you, I am standing here at this moment tonight in the very crossroads of our history,” Brantley stated.
Following victory at the polls Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris congratulated Brantley on his success on behalf of the Federal Government.
“I extend my heartiest congratulations and warmest wishes to you on attaining a decisive electoral victory in the Nevis local elections and becoming the island’s Premier-elect today, Tuesday, December 19th, 2017.
“I also congratulate your Concerned Citizens Movement colleagues – the Honourable Spencer Brand, the Honourable Eric Evelyn, the Honourable Alexis Jeffers, and Mr. Keith Scarborough – as well as your supporters on securing a solid win of four out of five seats over the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP).”
Dr. Harris express his happiness for Brantley and also hailed Amory for his years of service. “I am very happy for you, as you prepare to assume the mantle from our dear friend and mentor, the Honourable Vance Amory, who provided the CCM and the island of Nevis with strong, principled leadership for more than two decades, helping to develop the next generation of nation-builders.”
PM Harris also noted the “special bond” that has been developed between his Administration and with members of the CCM who are key partners in Dr. Harris’ Team Unity Government who was successful in removing Dr. Denzil Douglas in 2015 at the helm of the Federal Government.
“Our friendship and mutual respect have only grown stronger over these past 34 months as we worked diligently towards achieving greater prosperity for all citizens and residents of both Nevis and St. Kitts, and ushered in an unprecedented level of cordiality and cooperation between the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration.
“I give you my highest commendation and unwavering support as we continue to work for further progress for all of our people,” he said.
Deputy leader of CCM who is set to become Deputy Premier Alexis Jeffers speaking with The Observer on Election Day noted that the party will remain committed to principle and ideas of the party.
“We have been groomed by our former leader and he has taught us well. He has done a great job as leader of this great party for the last 30 years and well over 20 years of leadership from a government standpoint.”
Jeffers was also confident in Brantley’s ability to serve as Premier.
“We are rallying behind our leader the Hon. Mark Brantley he is going to be our next Premier and I am saying to you we will do an excellent job with him as the Premier and with all the persons who have decided to throw their hat in the ring.”
The new NIA Cabinet is set to be sworn into office at a time not yet decided.