Phillip Pierre Leader of the St. Lucia Labour Party

By Monique Washington

“It is the people who decide, they are the ones who matter.

“Performance alone may not be enough,” were the words of the leader of the St. Lucia Labour Party, Phillip Pierre, on Sunday when he spoke to the members of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) and their supporters at their annual convention at the Jessups Community Center.

The convention was held under the theme, “NRP! Redefining Independence and economic prosperity for Nevis!” The NRP was established on August 1, 1970 under the leadership of the late Simeon Daniel. Hon. Joseph Parry is now leader.  In 1992 the party was ousted by the  Concerned Citizens Movement, CCM. The NRP regained leadership of Nevis in the 2006 Nevis Island Assembly elections. The Party retained their leadership in 2011 in the most controversial elections in the island’s history. Their slogan for that election “Performance Matters,” was matched with the CCM’s slogan “People Matter More.” An election petition was filed thereafter by the CCM party. In 2012,a judged ruled that the seat won in St John by Hensley Daniel of the NRP was declared null and void, based on irregularities which paved a way to an Nevis Island Assembly election. In January 2013, the Concerned Citizens Movement won the election,3 seats to 2.

In Hon. Phillip Pierre’s remarks he noted the importance of putting people first and advised that if the party wants to be stronger they must be “in touch with the people.”

“If the NRP intens to redefine and return economic independence and prosperity to Nevis, it must reform and transform itself in a stronger, cohesive party that is always in touch with people,” Pierre said.“The party must remain deeply rooted and connected with people. It is to server as a vehicle which is to bring independent and ecomic prosperity to the people.Your contact with people is the corner stone of political success.”

He noted the importance of the party continuing the founding principles which the party was established on.

“The NRP should be viewed as an inclusive organization, a party whose policies and posture towards governance transcend class or political divide,” Pierre noted. Always follow the constitution of your party. It is the blueprint for your party and dictates the way you should conduct your business.”

The St. Lucian Opposition leader encouraged the party to maintain high ideals and working class policies. “It must not be swayed by the glitz and the dazzle or ripened party who tend to compromize principle for bluff and lies,” Pierre continued. He advised that the party must not tolerate corruption or misbehavior among its membership.

“At all times its policies must be in the benefit of the majority of the people not for the privileged few who seek wealth and power for selfish proposes,” Pierre concluded. “It must be disciplined,focused and practice the principle of accountability and transparency at all times and never sacrifice principle for short term gain.”

“Everyone in the NRP has a role to play,” Pierre concluded. “The success of the NRP can not be the responsibility of the leadership and executive alone.”