1979 Was Significant – 2010 Will Be Historic

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January 25, 2010 – Election Day

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
People’s Action Movement
January 23, 2010

When Dr. Kennedy Simmonds refused to accept defeat in the bi-election of 25th January, 1979, it proved to be the start of what was to become a very important rescue mission for St. Kitts and Nevis. The declaration by the High Court on 13th March, 1979 that Dr. Kennedy Simmonds had in fact won the bi-election of 25th January, turned this country around.

The Labour Administration was thrown into a panic. They could not bring themselves to accept the decision of the Court. They refused to call a meeting of the House of Assembly to swear in Dr. Simmonds. But look at what that did. By not calling the House of Assembly, the Labour Administration did not meet to pass any legislation for over 12 months. Shortly after that bi-election of the 25th of January, on 6th February, 1979, Labour hurriedly called a meeting of the House of Assembly to swear in Mr. Ribeiro. At that time the Election Petition of Dr. Kennedy Simmonds had already been filed and served on Mr. Ribeiro.

Just to keep the rightful winner of the bi-election, Dr. Kennedy Simmonds, from taking his rightful seat in Parliament, no other meeting of the House of Assembly was called for the rest of the year 1979.

History is repeating itself. Just like this year, 2010, the year 1980 dawned with St. Kitts and Nevis WITHOUT A BUDGET. The general elections of February 18th, 1980 were held without this country having a budget. This disgrace was the last straw for the People of St. Kitts and Nevis. Overburdened with Labour’s taxation and with Labour’s corruption in Government, the Electorate refused to give the Labour misleaders another chance.

It was the best thing that ever happened to St. Kitts and Nevis. The PAM-NRP Coalition Government in 1980 abolished personal income tax. This bold move allowed people to keep more money in their pockets and fuelled a tremendous growth in local investment. The new PAM-NRP Coalition Government rescued the economy of St. Kitts. It rescued the island of Nevis from secession and ushered in a genuine partnership between our Sister Islands. The PAM-NRP Coalition Government rescued the country from the disastrous take-over of the sugar lands by Labour. Labour refused to pay the owners of the lands for the 22,000 acres.

What short-sighted Labour, what vindictive Labour could not understand was that without payment of the lands, the Government could not get Title and could not give Title.

But people must have Title to go to the bank to borrow money. The People’s Action Movement recognized this and paid for the 2,000 acres that Labour had taken away without compensation. That rescue operation by PAM has been indispensable for home ownership in St. Kitts. Regardless of how many homes Labour has built, not one of those homes could have been OWNED if PAM did not pay for the land the homes are built on.

Once again St. Kitts and Nevis need a rescue mission. They need clean hands in Government. They need relief from excessive taxation. They need a Government which will give incentives to locals in preference to foreigners who can give the Government money under the table.

It is time for PAM’s 2nd rescue mission to become a reality.

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