St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Prime Minister Timothy Harris’ Peoples Labour Party is about to hold the PLP’s inaugural National Convention.
The announced date is March 25, this coming Saturday.
The PLP is one of the three political parties forming the Team Unity coalition, with the other two being the People’s Action Movement (PAM) and the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM).
According to a PLP release, the meeting in the Prime Minister’s constituency – Constituency Number 7 - is expected to draw hundreds of party supporters, well-wishers as well as members of the extended family of Team Unity.
The National Convention is reportedly being held in accordance with the party's constitutional mandate, to hold an annual convention in the month of March.
That’s said to be a part of the party's “commitment to good governance, transparency whereby offering to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis a viable option in the national democratic process”.
The convention is reportedly being held under a cloud, with some matters of interest remaining unresolved.
It is not clear whether two outspoken members of the original executive of the party who have been very critical of the PLP leader Dr Harris, will be attending the convention.
Former Press Secretary Clecton Phillip, who still considers himself the PLP’s general secretary, currently resides overseas.
WINN FM tried to contact the other executive member, the original chairman Douglas Wattley Sunday, to find out whether he would be attending the convention, but we were unable to reach him.
Wattley through social media and Phillip in an interview with WINN FM, have been making noises about some election campaign funds given to the party during the 2015 election campaign allegedly remaining unaccounted for to date.
According to Phillip, efforts were made to have that matter addressed.
“At a meeting on February 6th 2016, we got a report from a senior member of the party that there were approached by two persons involved in the process of collecting and accounting for campaign monies that were given to a senior individual of the party who was collecting money. That matter went to the executive, the executive after some discussions mandated the Chairman of the party, Douglas Wattley, to establish an inquiry in collaboration with the leader Tim Harris to establish a five man inquiry into those campaign funds which were reportedly collected and not accounted for. Up to date based on information that I have, having spoken to some of those same campaign donors, because I spoke to some, and the information that I have and the amount that they have given me, it is in the millions of dollars. We have not seen that money and all we are saying is the leader Tim Harris and the Chairman, was asked to set up a five man inquiry.”
Meanwhile Ambassador Sam Condor, speaking to WINN FM Sunday (March 19), confirmed that he too has concerns about some campaign funds not having been accounted for.
Condor maintains that he is still the PLP’s Deputy Leader, and he insists too that Wattley and Phillip still hold their respective positions within the PLP.
Sam Condor has served notice that if the original executive is removed at the national convention, whether by a vote or otherwise, he intends to mount a legal challenge against that move.
Condor has indicated that he will not be attending the convention – he says he is due to travel on that day.
Meanwhile the PLP release referred to earlier states that “as a part of the Team Unity administration, the Peoples Labour Party is affirming that the Team Unity movement is as strong as its constituent units and it is behoved upon the Peoples Labour Party to ensure that it remains relevant, active, visible and strong for the benefit of the Team Unity”.