The period 1993-1995 was important in the history of St. Christopher and Nevis. In this brief period the wind of circumstance blew and exposed the proverbial bottom of the fowl. PAM and Labour tied 4-4. PAM’s four was less glamorous than Labour’s four because where the Labour winners won with huge majorities, those who won for PAM just scraped through. Sydney Morris won By less than 150, Constance Mitcham By a mere 10 and even Dr. Kennedy Simmonds fell far short of the margins which he enjoyed in former years. I think Hugh Heyliger returned the largest majority in Sandy Point. The Labour Party went berserk; all hell broke loose. They felt that they represented By far the larger percentage of the people who voted in St. Kitts. Those among the leadership, who knew better, knew that the percentage of votes garnered was not the criterion for success in our kind of elections. In our system of elections what matters is really how many seats a party wins, not how many votes they collect. Yet these leaders, who knew better, egged on their less endowed supporters and all hell broke loose in St. Kitts. Mr. Amory of Nevis was not happy with the tie in St. Kitts and decided he would do nothing to break the deadlock. He probably remembered how easy it was for a Nevisian politician to become unpopular for joining with politicians in Basseterre. He refused to join either of the parties and refused to fall into their alluring promise of prime ministership. He was astute enough to realize that which ever party he joined would only entrap him until some convenient time when they would jettison him into The Channel. So Mr. Vance Amory in his wisdom and to his credit, declined all overtures and prescribed the holding of fresh elections to get a clear outcome in St. Kitts. His counterpart in Nevis Joseph Parry thought differently, so he agreed to give the PAM his support and came to Basseterre, entered Government House through the back and got sworn in as a Minister of Government. All hell broke loose. At the opening of Parliament bottles and stones rained on government headquarters. Luckily guns were not as common as they are now, or bullets might have flown, such was the rage of the people of St. Kitts, whose fanaticism was fuelled By the misleadership of the top echelons of the Labour Party, who gave their supporters the impression that they had won the election but were cheated out of the government. As hell broke loose I remember Governor General Sir. Clement Arrindell doing a tap dance as bottles broke not far from his feet. As Parliament proceeded the gates to Government Headquarters were kept closed to control who went in. Only specially invited guest were allowed inside the gate. The massive crowed of Labur supporters stood outside kept in their place on the opposite side of Church Street, looking on pensively as the flow of invitees entered the gate which was kept secured By policemen. I was a part of the crowd. I looked on observing and intrigued with expectation of some kind of development. The crowd should not have been on that end of Church Street because the police had cordoned off the entrance with barbed wire. But the crowd was furious, and one old lady raised her dress and held the sharp barbs of wire. She was joined By some young men – most of them from the villages. Together they ran with the fence till it was well out of the way and the road to Government Headquarters was clear for passage. One young man whom I knew from Saddlers sat afterwards at the corner of Market Street looking at a severe cut in the palm of one of his hands. I said “Lenny, what happen to you?” He showed me his wounded hand and said, “Man, ah hope when they get in them going remember me.” The old lady who held the fence with her raised dress also suffered a wound in her hand, but she seemed pleased that she had helped to clean the road for her comrades who pressed their way to the other side of Government Headquarters. As we stood there in sullen silence Rosalyn Hazelle, one of the party activists during the election season, approached the crowd and tried to urge us into action. She seemed desperate the way she pleaded with us. We listened with apparent passivity. I wondered what right this lady had to try to spur us into action. I almost invited her to lead the action. As I realized not long after she had spoken and left, some people did listen to her. As the late Arnold Warner and his wife entered the gate, a crowd surged forward. They tried to force their way in behind the couple. The policeman on guard was challenged. The man leading the fray was an old man from St. Paul’s. The young policeman was faced with a dilemma. He lashed out at the old man. He struck him in the head. The bleeding old man buckled and fell. The policeman’s face looked frightened. I never followed up what happened to the old lady or the old man from St. Paul’s, but since that day when hell broke loose Hazelle has moved from one high profile government job to another. I think she is now addressed Ambassador Hazelle. While Levine, the old lady and the old man from St. Paul still carry the scars of that day when hell broke loose while Hazelle and others highly favoured in the Labour Party enjoy the spirits. It is these people who try their utmost to keep Denzil Douglas in office. Although they are supposed to be civil servants, they are also partisans and they wear their two conflicting hats. It is these people who, more than others perpetuate the evils of our democracy. They stand from square behind their chosen politicians. The bottles and stones did not stop Dr. Simmonds from trying to run a minority government. They did not suggest to him that since he had already enjoyed 15 years, he should regard the results of 1993 as a chastisement By the electorate and hold fresh elections to resolve the impasse. Even the unrest from the Labour supporters did not give him the message. The mob surged through the streets of Basseterre, trying to find an object on which to vent their fury. As they surged down Fort Street, they saw a group of TDC directors standing on the side of the road. At the signal from one of their comrades they moved towards the group which, luckily anticipating them, was able to escape unhurt. As they surged through Liverpool Row they saw a businessman trying to put bars on his show cases. They lunged at him. He had to raise his hands in a gesture of surrender. “I am Labour, I am Labour, fellows,” he pleaded. The leader of the mob signaled them off. All hell had broken loose. Christmas came and went, leaving holes in the pockets of the business community. Instability reigned for the next two years. Murders were committed. Fires raged. It looked like the country was about to fall apart. The business community intervened. They pressed Dr. Simmonds to agree to call fresh elections. Vance Amory was vindicated. The elections were held. The Labour Party won By a landslide. Dr. Douglas got the results for which he boasted later that he had unleashed the forces of hell. Interestingly, one of the engineers of the 1995 elections was Richard Skerritt. Nobody knew then that he was in Hazelle’s category, someone in waiting for a call from Douglas. History is about to repeat itself. This time it is not a 4-4tie but open fraud. Who will now apply the pressure to right this wrong. Does Ricky see any reason for pressure. Does Hazelle? Does any of the top civil servants who form the Douglas Mafia?
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