The principles upon which the Team Unity coalition was founded, the shared vision that keeps the coalition unified and the strong leadership of Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, have led one regional social scientist to believe that the Team Unity administration of St. Kitts and Nevis serves as a model Government for the rest of the Caribbean region.
Dr. Sharon Gopaul-McNicol, former Trinidad and Tobago MP, was at the time delivering a passionate and powerful address at the public session of the 2019 People’s Labour Party’s (PLP) third annual National Convention at the Patsy Allers Playing Field on Saturday, March 16.
Speaking to the hundreds of persons in attendance, as well as those viewing online and listening via radio, Dr. Gopaul-McNicol pointed to a number of reasons why the Team Unity coalition of St. Kitts and Nevis will stand the test of time.
“The coming together of Team Unity was not just to get rid of [the incumbent party]; it was making sure that their common interests would be crystalized in policies endemic to the national development of St. Kitts and Nevis – this was the strength of the Team Unity,” said Dr. Gopaul-McNicol.
“The other good thing about the formation of this party is that it is the only coalition that was formed in the region 20 months before the election,” she added, noting that that was a big difference in contrast to what took place in Trinidad and Tobago where the political coalition of 1986 and that of 2010 came together in a relatively short period of time and thus was unable to truly cement their relationships.
Dr. Gopaul-McNicol stated firmly that the power of any coalition is enshrined in the concept of unity and said that “in a well-oiled coalition there is no such thing as one party being superior to other parties.”
She said, “The coalition should be built on the concept of mutual respect and the principle of collective responsibilities with all parties but most of all unity is the order of the day in a coalition because unity captures the spirit of a coalition, and this is why Team Unity works.”
“I knew unequivocally that Team Unity would have won the (2015) election because the nation wanted to see unity among its leaders and I knew that they would have stayed together because they were led by Dr. Harris, and his approach to the formation of this coalition was a very mature one,” Dr. Gopaul-McNicol said.
The former Trinidad and Tobago MP also commended the membership of the Team Unity coalition for recognizing early on that Dr. Harris was the right choice to lead the coalition at this particular time.
Dr. Gopaul-McNicol said that the issue of leadership was a major area of contention within the last coalition in Trinidad and Tobago.
“And so I was concerned. I said I wonder how PAM was going to work with this arrangement because PAM was the longest serving party in the coalition and I wondered if PAM would have felt a sense of entitlement as I saw in Trinidad and Tobago towards this leadership. But you know what, the greatest surprise is that this did not happen…and I tip my hat off respectfully to the PAM party and all of the players, every last one of them, they knew that Dr. Harris had clearly met all the leadership requirements to take Team Unity and St. Kitts and Nevis forward,” Dr. Gopaul-McNicol said to a rousing round of applause from the massive audience in attendance at the Patsy Allers Playing Field.