CHARLESTOWN, Nevis – AFTER more than three decades in the political arena, former Leader of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP), Joseph Walcott Parry has resigned from politics.
In an interview with WINN FM on Saturday (Jan. 4), Parry was asked what prompted him to tender his resignation.
In response, the former Premier of Nevis said: “I have been involved in Parliament for 32 years and I think it is time for me to leave. I think I have done enough and I would like to say that maybe we need to see new faces, a new generation moving in and taking over, That’s my point of view anyway.”
Parry was also asked if he has seen a likely candidate as his replacement, to which he answered in the affirmative.
“Yes, the party and the party structure will have to make the decision, but I personally have seen someone who I would like to recommend to the party, or who I had recommended to the party.”
It was rumoured that Parry had tendered his resignation since October, last, but he disclosed it was done on Tuesday, December 31, 2019.
Responding to if he thought it was prudent to leave the party at a time when it is preparing for the Federation’s General Election, Parry said, “I don’t think so! I have been giving warning for some time now that I would be leaving and there is a number of personal issues that I have to attend to and they cannot wait any longer. If the situation were different, personally, I suppose I could have stayed a little longer but I have to look to my own issues.”
With his departure from the political arena, there must be a by-election for his seat in the Nevis Island Assembly.
When asked if he is confident that NRP would regain that seat, Parry he does not engage in predictions.
“I don’t want to say that. I don’t like to indulge in those type of predictions. What I would say is that St. Thomas’ Parish and St. Thomas’ Constituency is dear to me and I would like the person who is eventually elected to have the same kind of interest that I have or even more, and to have respect for the people of St. Thomas’ Parish. And I would like that person to bring some integrity and honesty to the table.”
In 2017 Nevis Island Assembly Election, the NRP had lost a seat in one of its strongholds and the veteran politician was asked if the party is in a good position n heading into not only the 2020 Federal Election but also the one scheduled for 2021.
“I do hope so.” Was his response. “I have not been very active in the executive since 2017. I stepped down from the party leadership and I have created a little distance between myself and the leadership to enable them to establish their own persona and for them to develop as leaders of the party in the eyes of the public without me getting in the way.”
Confirmation of Parry’s retirement also came from the NRP.
In a press release, the party stated that “…our beloved former Party President and Parliamentarian for St. Thomas’ Parish, retired from active politics as of January 1st 2020”.
His stellar 26-year leadership of the NRP, it added, was eclipsed only by his exceptional 32-year commitment to the great people of his home Parish of St. Thomas. His five decades long service to country have consumed his entire life and his impact and legacy would be judged alongside the sterling contributions of our national heroes.
“To know the man is to know that his heart is always with the poor and working class people of Nevis; uplifting, encouraging, empowering the masses whether they were students under his tutelage at the Charlestown Secondary School, or those in the local and regional cricketing fraternity, or those in the many constellations of the Public Service and of course the few of us who benefitted immensely from his steady and irrepressible leadership in Cabinet from 2006-2013,” the release said.
It pointed to his leadership as Nevis’ Premier during this century’s global recession.
“His Premiership of Nevis during the very dark days of the 2008-2010 global recession and the concurrently devastating loss of the Four Seasons Resort, tested his every sinew and challenged every ounce of his knowledge and experience. Not only did we survive but we became a stronger, more resilient and a more independent people. Nobody could have done it better.”
The NRP stated that to know its former Leader is to know that he “covets nothing, no power, no fame, no personal wealth, no material things. His name today remains as untouched by scandal and corruption, by greed and unethical behaviour as it has been for his entire public career”.
The NRP also stated that Parry would be the first to admit his own imperfections while surreptitiously extracting perfection from those around him.
“Simply put, he knew that to get the best out of people, he had to give the very best of himself even when it cost him dearly. Nobody could have done it better,” the party said.
It further stated that to know him is to know that while he has voluntarily removed himself from the rough and tumble of today’s political landscape, “he will forever be present in the heart and soul of the Nevis Reformation Party, the great people of St. Thomas’ and the people of Nevis”.