St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The parliamentarian expected to take over the leadership of the Concerned Citizens Movement from Premier Vance Amory – Mark Brantley, is being hailed as a leader of note.
It had been expected that Brantley, nominated for the position of CCM political leader, would have been announced the leader after being ratified at a CCM caucus on March 26.
However party officials have indicated that the process is still ongoing, and according to reports, the leadership is expected to be finalized at the party’s convention.
Mark Brantley is the Deputy Premier in Nevis, the foreign affairs minister in the federal parliament in Basseterre, and a former leader of the opposition of St Kitts and Nevis.
Some Brantley supporters are speaking publicly about his capabilities as a leader.
One of them is attorney Collin Tyrell, who describes Mark Brantley as forthright and focused.
“He brings experience from his own professional background and even though he has not been in government for an extremely long time compared to Vance Amory, I believe that he has equipped himself well enough during the period that he has been in and I expect that he will turn out to be a very good leader of the party. I think he has a lot of support which is critical in an operation like that and that should help, he has good people around him, and so I’m pretty confident that he will do a good job.”
Also in full support of the Brantley leadership is Oscar “Astro” Browne.
The former Calypso monarch tells WINN FM that Deputy Premier Brantley has the strength to be a great leader.
“If I go back to my community where I grew up with him, he was a part of the basketball team and at one point the captain. He was the coach then in the years before politics when his business was thriving he would then contribute and sponsor the teams throughout Brown Hill in football and cricket. He would say I don’t like football but it’s all about the young people. To look at the political aspect of it, I personally would say that Mr. Brantley is the one who would have toppled both NRP in Nevis and Labour in St Kitts. I remember many times after meetings he would brave the waters to go to St Kitts to be a part of the Unity movement and to me that is leadership. He wanted this thing to work and he led from the front from the Nevis end. If he ascends to the leadership I expect him to be a leader who is strong, a leader that is fair, a leader that is just, a leader that will make the decisions that are best for the people of Nevis. In a nutshell , I expect him to lead strongly, forcefully when it needs to be and fair when the situation asks for that.”
Looking on from Basseterre across the waters at the CCM leadership matter, Operation Rescue’s Dwyer Astaphan describes Mark Brantley as the natural successor to CCM leader Amory.
“He would be succeeding a gentleman who has served for a long time and has established a good track record for himself so, what we’re seeing here is accession taking place from one capable leader to another. I am no means an expert on Nevisian politics but I think Mr. Brantley has a very high national profile. His capabilities are not in question and he appears to me from a distance, to be the natural successor to Mr. Amory.”
Nevis elections are said to be due by January of next year, and Astro is anticipating a smooth transition to the new leadership.
“I was at the caucus and it was said that whatever was said at the caucus has to be ratified at the convention so I am thinking that after the convention then he’ll become the leader of the party. I don’t necessarily know if that will automatically make him the Premier of the country but Mr. Brantley in my opinion is not in any hurry, we have an excellent leader in Mr. Amory and he’s willing to wait until the right time and it has to be timed properly, it can’t be ad hoc and it cannot be without reason. I just hope that if the leadership change is going to be effective it has to be in enough time for Mr. Brantley to settle in the job at least, because election is pending in January thereabout and there’s not much time between now and January if you’re going to have a change in leadership. So it has to be done in a process that is smooth and a process that affords enough time for him to transition as the leader and the Premier of the country.”
Mark Brantley has not commented publicly on the CCM leadership issue.