The Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Llewellyn Douglas
Former Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, current Leader of the Opposition
Denzil Llewellyn Douglas (born 14 January 1953) is the former Prime Minister of the twin-island Caribbean nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Minister of Finance, Sustainable Development, Human Resources Development, Constituency Empowerment and Social Security. He represents residents of St. Christopher #6 (which comprises the communities of Newton Ground, St. Pauls, Dieppe Bay, Parsons, Saddlers and Harris') as their Member of Parliament (MP).
Early life and education
Denzil Llewellyn Douglas was born on 14 January 1953 in the the north island village of St. Paul's, St. Kitts. He obtained Bachelor of Science degree in 1977 and a medical degree with hours in 1984 from the University of West Indies, Mona Campus in Jamaica.
When he returned to Saint Kitts after qualifying as a medical doctor he opened private/family practice in 1986. He has served as President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Medical Association.
Dr. Douglas was the first Young Labour Representative to sit on the National Executive of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (which was established in 1935). He was elected as Deputy Chairman of the Party in 1987. Two years later, in 1989, he ran for public office and was elected for the first time as a Member of Parliament for St. Christopher #6, serving the communities of Newton Ground, St. Paul's, Dieppe Bay, Parsons, Saddlers and Harris'.
Following the island's general election of 1989 and his ascension to Parliament, Dr. Douglas was appointed Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Soon after, he was elected National Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party.
In the 1993 general election held on 29 November, Douglas successfully led the Labour Party to win an outright majority popular vote but due to outdated electoral boundaries the near two thirds majority popular vote only secured 4 of the 8 seats in St. Kitts while the remaining 3 seats (out of 11 total) on Nevis were taken between two minority parties. The Governor General swore in a Government that only commanded the support of 5 out of the 11 seats. Labour, which had received the majority popular vote, with its 4 seats, along with 2 from Nevis, as the majority elected seated in Opposition, were totally ignored.
Dr. the Hon. Denzil Llewellyn Douglas was sworn in as the Second Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis immediately following the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Partys impressive election victory in July 1995.
Re-elected in March 2000, Dr. Douglas St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party again won a resounding third term on 25 October 2004 with 7 of the 8 seats on St. Kitts in the 11-member St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly.
The general election of 2010 resulted in Labour, led by Denzil Douglas, now 57, securing a historic fourth term as Prime Minister of a Labour government with a majority of 6 seats with another female Member of Parliament on the governing Labour bench and 50% of the Labour Representatives being new faces compared to the 1995 Labour government.
As Prime Minister, Dr. Douglas plays an active leadership role in many regional and international organisations:
- Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
- Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)
- Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
- Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
- Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
- Organisation of American States (OAS)
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- World Bank
- United Nations
- Small States Forum of the World Bank
Honours and Awards
Dr. Douglas has made history by being the first Caribbean Leader to receive the Ghandi- King-Ikeda Peace Award and was also honoured as an outstanding graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and is the recipient of a Legacy Award from the American Foundation of the University of the West Indies in New York.
The Republic of China on Taiwan and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela recently decorated Prime Minister Douglas with the Order of Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon and the Order of the Liberator (First Class) respectively.
A Florida State senator and a Miami Commissioner have honoured Dr. Douglas for his outstanding leadership not only in St. Kitts and Nevis, but also regionally and internationally and has been recognised Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City for his many contributions in the field of HIV/AIDS.
United States President, the Hon. George Bush and former U.S. President, the Hon. Bill Clinton praised Prime Minister Douglas for his leadership role in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In November 2005, Prime Minister Douglas was presented with a plaque by prominent United States Congressman, the Hon. Charles Rangel for distinguished and unblemished record of service to humanity and for his leadership and tireless, progressive contributions to his country and to the entire Caribbean Community.
The United States Congressional Black Caucus also presented a plaque to Dr. Douglas.
He is the Prime Ministerial spokesman on HIV/AIDS and other health related matters in the CARICOM quasi Cabinet.