AH FRAID DE PRIME MINISTER General Elections are coming up and I am afraid. Whatever the outcome will be, I am afraid. I am afraid that If Dr. Douglas wins, that he will put me under heavy manners. Right now I am using the freedom of my speech to criticize the way he is running the country. I am very fervently pointing at the flaws of his governing style. I do not like his patronizing attitude. I insist on regarding him as a servant and not a master of our people and express my outrage at his penchant for regarding me as one of his subjects. I do not like the way he is trying to run the economy of this island. He is on the fast track to selling our country and its people to white foreigners. He is aggressively returning St. Kitts to the plantation system with foreign owned hotels and golf courses taking the place of absentee foreign sugar landowners. The Prime Minister obviously disgrees with me and would obviously feel better if I were one of his doting flatterers or one of his browbeaten colleagues. And although I do not know exactly what he told the young cohort who offered to deal with me on his behalf, I am sure that he has often wondered what to do with this pesky old man. I am sure that if he wins the forth-coming elections he would find out what to do with me and that he would have neither qualms nor hesitancy in doing so. Of course the prospect of what the Prime Minister will do to me if he wins the next elections will not deter me from speaking out on the issues which I believe are at the core of our fledgling democracy. I will always argue against indefinite terms in the office of the Prime Minister. Any chance that a prime minister who plays his politics smartly could stay in office, as long as he likes is fraught with serious danger for the population over which he presides. One of the dangers is that in his effort to hold on to office, he would weave a web of deceit, cruelty and brutality with which to intimidate each successive generation of voters to support his reign over them. He might change the boundaries every time it looks like he might lose or he might threaten the electorate with violence to force them to vote for him. There is also the grave danger that the electorate who are hoodwinked into keeping him in power might eventually take the law into their hands and resort to violence to remove the dictator. I am also against the practice of giving whoever is prime minister the right to keep the election date secret until he thinks the time is right for him to call an election. The power to call an election should be enshrined in the Constitution. The electoral process should be predictable and orderly and this primitive game of cat and mouse which our Prime Minister plays with us every number of years is unbecoming of a modern educated society. In every other matter if national importance, the Prime Minister should be under the law like everybody else. This archaic notion that the Prime Minister is the highest authority in the land must be replaced by the modern precept that under the rule of law, all citizens are equal regardless of the different tasks in which we serve our nation. Which leads to that other false notion that our people must hold their politicians in awe and reverence and should be afraid to offend them even by criticism? It is even claimed that those of us who criticize the government are enjoying some kind of special privilege. It is such a dumb idea to believe we would give our vote to people who are going to use the power we give them to assault, enslave, oppress and silence us. But this is the prevailing idea and that is why I am afraid of the Prime Minister if he wins the upcoming election. Do I therefore wish that he should lose? Would it make me feel better if Asim loses his seat and Flemming wins his, if Hamilton pulls it off this time and my young friend Ghost falls short in No 4? If all this happens Dr. Douglas would lose but there might be no rapturous celebration when the results come in, because Dr. Douglas has hinted that a violent revolution would follow the declaration of the new political winners. Dr. Douglas has asked the people of our country to expect violence if he loses the next election. Another phrase for revolution is civil war and what I understand Dr. Douglas to say is that the results of the elections would not satisfy him if they turn out to be against him. And he will fight to prevent the People’s Action Movement from taking their legitimate place in the new government of the nation. That’s why even if Dr. Douglas loses I would still be afraid, because I might become a target of the forces of reaction which he promises to unleash upon this peaceful country if the elections don’t go his way. Now Dr. Douglas has won several elections. Since 1993 he has won three elections and has amassed some fourteen continuous years in office. In all the elections which he won those who opposed him moved out of the way to let him rule. Nobody did so much as throw a stone in protest at his victories. When his rivals felt cheated they took the matter to the Court and like decent people, respected the Court’s decision. Nobody rioted; in 14years of continues Douglas rule, nobody sabotaged, nobody even grafittied and in case nobody noticed, this was genuine display of good sportsmanship and statesmanship by the candidates who failed to win a seat. They displayed themselves with maturity as they accepted the verdict of the electorate. Now this fine atmosphere of grown-up politics, is shattered by the outrageous promises by the Prime Minister that if he finds himself at the receiving end of political defeat he will plunge this relatively peaceful island into the turmoil of Civil War, which he predicts will be a revolution. I believe that some of the supporters of the Prime Minister’s party will agree that it would be good for them if St. Kitts was enveloped in confusion, if the Labour Party loses. This rabble, however, is only a small minority of the Party. I am sure that the mass of the Labour Party supporters would distance themselves from the unwholesome rant of their leader.
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