16 February, 2010
Some reflections on the elections. I am happy with the election results. I have no doubt that the Anguillian electorate has spoken loudly and clearly. Congratulations to the victors, and commiserations to the losers. Better luck next time. And, there will be a next time, perhaps sooner than we all realise.
This is DeFosto’s satirical calypso on Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s palace that he has just had government build for him in the heart of
Port of Spain in Trinidad. The music reflects so clearly what Anguillians thought about the United Front Party and the incumbent politicians that I invite you to look at it to get a sense of how relieved we all are in Anguilla at the outcome of yesterday’s elections.
The elections are not completely over. The likelihood is that, in the coming weeks, Sutcliffe Hodge will challenge Neil Rogers’ victory in the courts. To this day, Neil has refused to demonstrate something that only he can do, and that would have cost him nothing: that he has effectively renounced his
citizenship, something that he is required to do under our Constitution if he is to be legally qualified to sit in the House of Assembly. US
Will the Hon Hubert Hughes, our new Chief Minister, remember James Frankel of La Samana hotel in St Maarten? In about 1979 Frankel was given an Aliens Landholding Licence by the Government of Anguilla to purchase land at
from Emile Gumbs, and to lease more of it from Government. He began building what was to become the Cap Juluca hotel. The following year, during the election campaign, Hubert took as one of his main campaign planks a threat to force Frankel to re-negotiate the Licence. He said he wanted to see more density on the beach. Now, a licence of this sort, which contains mutual undertakings and promises by both government and the developer, can be considered a contract. Ronald Webster made Hubert Minister of Tourism in the new government that took office in 1980. Hubert continued to make it clear to Frankel that his licence was not going to be honoured. Frankel sued the Government for anticipatory breach of his licence agreement. I do not know what advice the A-G gave government. But, government hurriedly agreed with Frankel that in exchange for his dropping the suit, he could sell his licence and project for a goodly profit to Friedland and Hickox, who became the next developers of the hotel. If Frankel had continued with the case, the likelihood is great that Government would have lost it, and been ordered to pay him substantial damages. Will Hubert make the same mistake all over again, as he is promising to do? Maundays Bay
Congratulations are due to the IT team which put together a brilliant website to cover the results as they were coming out. If you have not seen the web pages before, you can get the election details here. The elections map which showed the results as they developed was particularly good. Congratulations again to Rudy Webster, Romero Kelsick, Garson Kelsick, Ludwig Grant, Damien Harrigan, Vaughn Hazell, Roxanne Romney, Duquaine Brooks, Dwayne Smith, and Karenda Brooks. You did a magnificent job of bringing the elections to those of us who stayed home glued to our computer screens. Don’t put away the software just yet!