Dr. Sharon Gopaul-McNicol addressing the public session of the People's Labour Party's third annual National Convention.

Shared, common interests and recognition of Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris as a leader were the keys to Team Unity’s success, a research said at the the People’s Labour Party public session on Saturday.

“The coming together of Team Unity was not just to get rid of [the incumbent party]. It was making sure that their common interests would be crystallised in policies endemic to the national development of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr. Gopaul-McNicol.

Dr. Gophaul-McNicol is a social scientist and former MP from Trinidad and Tobago.

She said the coalition had been formed on had also been formed around unity and “the concept of mutual respect and the principle of collective responsibilities with all parties.”

She added that the parties involved had also befitted by coalescing around Dr. Harris as a leader. She said this was particularly noteworthy in People’s Action Movement (PAM), as the party was the longest established and might have “a sense of entitlement.”

“The greatest surprise is that this did not happen…and I tip my hat off respectfully to the PAM party and all of the players, every last one of them, they knew that Dr. Harris had clearly met all the leadership requirements to take Team Unity and St. Kitts and Nevis forward,” said Dr. Gopaul-McNicol.

Dr. Gopaul-McNicol compared the Team Unity coalition favourably to political coalitions in Trinidad and Tobago which historically had to come together in a short amount of time and were not able to create firm relationships.

“The other good thing about the formation of [Team Unity] is that it is the only coalition that was formed in the region 20 months before the election,” she said.

Dr. Gopaul-McNicol said the power of any coalition is enshrined in the concept of unity and said that “in a well-oiled coalition there is no such thing as one party being superior to other parties.”

She said, “The coalition should be built on but most of all unity is the order of the day in a coalition because unity captures the spirit of a coalition, and this is why Team Unity works.”

“I knew unequivocally that Team Unity would have won the (2015) election because the nation wanted to see unity among its leaders and I knew that they would have stayed together because they were led by Dr. Harris, and his approach to the formation of this coalition was a very mature one,” Dr. Gopaul-McNicol said.