Former St. Kitts & Nevis PM, Dr Douglas Celebrates 30 years in Parliament

Dr Douglas proud of the achievements of his people and nation in his service of 30 years in Parliament in St Kitts and Nevis

Basseterre, St Kitts – Leader of the Opposition in St Kitts and Nevis, the Right Hon Dr  Denzil L Douglas has been reflecting on his 30 years of service to St Christopher 6  (Newton Ground to Harris’) and the twin-island Federation.

“For me this month has been an opportunity to reflect on my legacy of service as well as the relationships, friendships and connections that have been built over the years.  I thank God for bringing me thus far and for granting me the wisdom, health and strength. I am also deeply grateful for the role He has allowed me to continue to play in our country’s evolution,” said Dr Douglas during Tuesday night’s edition of Ask the Leader on Kyss 102.5 FM.

Using the opportunity to thank all who have stood by him in good times and in bad, the medical doctor turned politician who served for 20 of those years as prime minister also thanked his critics, “because they have kept me humble and focused and strengthen my determination to always learn from my mistakes and improve.” 

Dr Douglas reminded his audience that when he started off on this journey 30 years ago, “I was driven and motivated by a deep and abiding love for my people, the people of this country of St Kitts and Nevis as well as a burning desire to do all that I could to help to advance and elevate their state of social and economic wellbeing.”

Rt Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas (left) being sworn in as a Member of Parliament in 1989 in St Kitts and Nevis

Rt Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas (left) being sworn in as a Member of Parliament in 1989

“As I looked around the community of St Paul’s where I grew up, I was deeply affected by the squalor, poverty, landlessness and overall lack of opportunity that was affecting so many people. I saw the indignity of joblessness and homelessness  and as a young conscientious black boy, I knew that something was wrong.  It was these circumstances which shaped my outlook on life and my desire to serve first as a community activist, then a medical doctor and finally, as a politician,” he said.

He said he wanted to do his part in making life better for the people and to end the vicious cycle of poverty, disease and depression.

“Over the last 30 years I have done my utmost best to hold true to this mission and I am grateful and proud of the many successes that I have been part of as a leader of this great country: providing thousands of homes, scholarships, jobs and business opportunities, lots of land, increased wages, community facilities and legislative initiatives to curb domestic violence, and improving education and healthcare, to name but a few,” Dr Douglas said.

The seven-term parliamentarian said there is nothing that makes him happier than to see the eyes of ordinary people beam with pride at their great accomplishments, personal achievements and advancement.

“People like the single mother who was given the keys to her first home as a result of the housing revolution that my administration brought by making homeownership affordable and available to thousands of people.  People like the thousands of young men and women who were able to receive a scholarship or an affordable student loan from the Development Bank through our GRASP and REACH programmes and several other initiatives.  People like the many farmers, fisherfolk and small business owners who were able to receive thousands of dollars in small grants and affordable lines of credit at low interest rates. These were the moments I was most proud of,” said Dr Douglas.

“I believe that we have accomplished a lot together as a nation, but there is still much that is yet to be done.  This is why I have again stepped forward to serve this country and I thank the members, executive and candidates of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party for their continued faith and confidence in me as the Leader of our great Party. It. is my deep desire to continue to lend of my experience, maturity and leadership to take this country to even higher heights of peace and prosperity,” said Dr Douglas.

In his first election on March 21, 1989, Dr Douglas received 69 percent of the votes – 1, 236 votes to his opponent’s 334. In the February 16, 2015 general election, he received 77 percent of the votes – 1,969 to his opponent’s 200.

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