BASSETERRE, St. Kitts and Nevis (AP) -- Prime Minister Denzil Douglas'
Labor Party frustrated opposition leader Kennedy Simmonds' bid to return
to power by holding onto its parliamentary majority in elections in the
twin-island Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
With results from Monday's election still trickling in, Labor had won six
in the 11-member National Assembly and was leading in the two other
districts at stake in St. Kitts; Simmonds' People's Action Movement had
won none. Eight of the 11 seats are based in St. Kitts, and three in the
smaller island of Nevis.
Both Douglas and Deputy Prime Minister Sam Condor were re-elected by
The People's Action Movement, which governed from 1980-1995, had
sought to oust Labor by winning at least three seats in St. Kitts and forming
a coalition with the winners of the seats in Nevis.
But its chances were dealt a blow when party leader Hugh Heyliger -- the
only incumbent from the People's Action Movement _ was defeated by
Labor's Jacinth Henry-Martin.
In Nevis, the Concerned Citizens Movement won two seats: Nevis Premier
Vance Amory was re-elected, and the CCM's Malcolm Guishard also won.
The Nevis Reformation Party's Patrice Nisbewtt claimed the third seat.
Going into the election, Labor had seven of St. Kitts' eight seats. More
34,000 residents were eligible to vote in the nation of 48,000 people.
Douglas had warned at a weekend rally that "instability and confusion"
would ensue if Simmonds' party allied with the Nevis parties. The islands of
St. Kitts and Nevis have an uneasy union that barely survived an August
1998 secession referendum in Nevis, where residents complain they don't
receive their fair share of federal spending.
Elected in 1995, Douglas pointed to his efforts to promote resort
construction in tourism-dependent St. Kitts, salary hikes for public servants,
and efforts to combat crime. His cause was boosted by the Feb. 19
extradition of Charles Miller, an alleged drug trafficker who intimidated many
on the islands, to the United States.
Simmonds had assailed Douglas' failed efforts to rejuvenate the sugar
industry and deal with St. Kitts' dlrs 192 million debt. Douglas blamed five
hurricanes that have slammed the islands in four years for frustrating
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.