Democracy for Federation of St Kitts and Nevis suffers crushing blow on legal technicality despite compelling evidence of fraud!
Fearful of losing the June 5th 2020 elections, the Harris-led UNITY concoction resorted to widespread abuse of office, plundering of state funds while they wantonly and disgracefully robbed Kittitians of free and fair elections. UNITY resorted to extensive bribery, electoral fraud and massive instances of corruption and list padding. These gross irregularities resulted in UNITY assuming government.
The St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) rightfully filed petitions with substantive evidence based on eye-witness accounts highlighting the extent to which Harris and his counterparts bought the election in a massive “payments for vote” scheme abusing our patrimony in exchange for votes. However, without the benefit of having the substantive matters heard in court SKNLP has been prevented from pursuing the matter on a simple legal technicality. This is indeed an alarming and disappointing situation for the SKNLP. The June 5th General Election was neither free, fair or free from fear. It was not conducted on a level playing field. A New York Times article entitled “Latin America is Facing a Decline in Democracy under the Pandemic” published on July 29, 2020, cited the 24-hr lockdown as one of the main impediments hampering opposition efforts to connect with voters while candidates on the government side were allowed to do so.
The SNKLP shares in the disappointment of our overwhelming majority of supporters and we remain resolute in our position that the elections were stolen and fraudulent. The tactics employed have left us with a fractured and deeply divided government and country which needs rescuing. SKNLP expresses our thanks to all our supporters and those who continue to stand on the side of truth, justice and democracy. We remind you that the fight for democracy will be endless for the citizens of St Kitts and Nevis.
SKNLP will be the guardians of our democracy. We will not rest until the will of the majority of the people is recognized.
Today, Friday, June 26, 2020 the Labour Party has filed legal documents at the High Court to support Election Petitions challenging the outcome of the elections for Constituencies, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8. Over the last few weeks since the close of polls on June 5, 2020, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour party has undertaken a rigorous process to compile and document the glaring irregularities and illegalities that took place amidst the chaos and confusion that characterized the voting process in several constituencies across St. Kitts.
After thorough analysis of the data as well as documenting detailed eye-witness accounts and the observations of both its Inside and Outside polling agents, the Labour Party’s initial suspicion that something was grossly amiss with the election results, has been borne out by the facts and evidence. Such evidence uncovers a complex land-for-votes scheme conducted through the Ministry of Sustainable Development operated by activist government officials on behalf of the Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, to secure a second victory for the Team Unity regime.
The Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party in a statement delivered on June 8, 2020 stated that he was “deeply disturbed that the [victory] for the Labour Party has been hijacked in large measure by the many irregularities and anomalies that took place in our electoral and voting processes in the years, months, weeks and days leading to the general election. It is for these reasons that I cannot in good conscience concede the election as being free, fair and free from fear” and vowed to vigorously pursue court action challenging the election results.
Speaking on the steps of the Sir Lee L. Moore Legal and Judicial Complex, Dr. Denzil Douglas, flanked by the seven NextGen candidates, addressed the jubilant crowd gathered.
“Thank you for coming out here my people to witness the petition that are being filed by six members of the NextGen SKN team, who believe with evidence from the electorate, that they have been cheated out of their place in Parliament…As promised in my previous statement a few days following the Election, we have compiled the reports of our Inside and Outside Agents who monitored the voting process on election day. Our Agents’ reports indicate that there has been massive cheating during the conduct of the election. A lot of cheating took place. The officials for the government as you would know were family members of most of the candidates, this is against the law. They did not represent, in our opinion, the opposing candidates from the Labour Party in the same way that they represented the government candidates in terms of demonstrating how to vote. We have found from the evidence that there was massive corruption. There was inducement, bribery, bribery in a massive way, using assets of the government, assets belonging to you the people being used to bribe the electorate, the voters,” Douglas stated.
“These are serious matters that we believe could have affected the outcome of the election and thus we are asking the court to look at the evidence, look at the petitions of our candidates and determine whether or not those who were returned were fairly and justifiably returned, and if not, quash the returns of the Returning Officer and if we do not have our candidates appointed instead, then we would have a new election So today, we say to you the people, that the government headed by Harris is illegal, it is illegitimate, so we are asking for new elections, fair elections to elect the members of our Parliament. We also want to make it clear, that there were really no serious observers during the elections, they did not want any proper international election observers used…So the elections were fraudulent, the government is illegal and we want fresh elections in this country,” he concluded.
High Court Judge orders Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Shawn Richards to pay former Senator Mr. Nigel Carty EC$375,000.00 for defamation
High Court Judge, His Lordship Mr. Eddy D. Ventose has ordered St Kitts and Nevis’ Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Shawn K. Richards to pay former St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) Senator Mr. Nigel Carty, EC$375,000 in damages for a 10-year-old character defamation case.
In his June 15, 2020 ruling, His Lordship Mr. Eddy Ventose awarded Mr. Carty, who was Minister of Education and Information in 2010, EC$50,000 for aggravated damages and EC$50,000 for exemplary damages. Deputy Prime Minister Richards at that time was sitting on the opposition benches.
In awarding Carty EC$275,000 in general damages, Justice Ventose noted noted it was to compensate him for “the wrong he has suffered and the damage to his reputation; to vindicate his good name; and for the distress, hurt and humiliation which the defamatory publication” Richards caused Carty.
Shawn Richards, who sat on the opposition benches at the time, openly accused Mr. Nigel Carty on January 13, 2010 at a public meeting of PAM held at Trafalgar Village, Basseterre, of sexually assaulting a young lady, claiming to have affidavits and a medical report to substantiate his accusation. He again continued to prolong this accusation at a PAM political public meeting held in Half Way Tree 3 days later on January 16, 2010. However, none of the evidence Mr. Richards claimed to have were presented in court.
The EC$375,000 is to be paid by Richards to Carty within 28 days of the June 15 ruling.The matter was first heard on April 15, 2019. A hearing for the assessment of damages was scheduled for November 28, 2019.
Mr. Carty was represented by Mrs. Angelina Gracy Sooko-Bobb of the law firm of Sylvester Anthony. Hon. Shawn Richards was represented by Mr. Terrance Byron and Miss Indira Butler.
The full judgement can be viewed here https://www.eccourts.org/nigel-carty-v-shawn-k-richards/?fbclid=IwAR1PkQzlM2t3V5mR0GHNDj-uuL0GW7mgCz6uNbA03PY-R4W365xdXvxm2z8
(Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis, April 27, 2020) – The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) has taken the proactive step of establishing an Economic Recovery Advisory Council (ERAC) that will commence its work immediately. The Terms of Reference of the ERAC outlines the main objective of the Council as being “to advise the SKNLP and its leadership” on policies and strategies that would:
- Reconnect and realign the local economy with the global tourism, trade and investments markets at the earliest possible time.
- Resuscitate and grow the main drivers of the national economy – Tourism, Manufacturing, Construction and Financial and other Services in order to put people back to work as quickly as possible.
- Identify and invest in opportunities for further economic expansion and diversification based on the new norms and imperatives of the post-COVID environment including inter alia, Agriculture and Food Security; ICT and Digital infrastructure; Comprehensive Primary Health Care and Universal Public Health Insurance and NextGen Education.
- Guide, channel and monitor foreign direct investment into public sector projects that will generate economic growth and yield exponential development dividends.
- Facilitate and stimulate bottom-up approaches to small and medium enterprise development in ways that would incentivize and reward our risk-takers and enhance their viability and competiveness and create jobs.
- Restore the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship-By-Investment Program to global competitiveness.
- Create an institutional framework for harnessing the full spectrum of economic benefits that the Diaspora can bring to bear in St. Kitts and Nevis in the areas of remittances; direct Investments; human capital transfers (knowledge, skills, ideas, contacts and technology); philanthropic contributions; capital market investments; tourism; job creation; business development and Innovation.
- Optimize the quality and delivery of our public services to ensure maximum impact and efficiency and that will enhance the ease-of-doing-business in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“This initiative provides another vivid demonstration of the vision and commitment of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party towards building resilience into the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis. Our Next Gen team wants to hit the ground running, with great urgency from our first day in office, in a manner that would make life more affordable and less stressful for our young people, families and businesses. Despite the setbacks and fear caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party is ready to seize the opportunities upon which the foundation of a new post-COVID economy can be laid for the betterment of our people,” stated the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party.
The Economic Recovery Advisory Council will comprise experts, thought-leaders and professionals in relevant areas of economic and social reconstruction. The Council will provide monthly written reports on the progress of its work to the executive of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and the future NextGen SKN Labour Administration leading up to the Federal election.
The St Kitts & Nevis Federal election must take place no later than August, 2020. The National Assembly will dissolve automatically on May 14, unless it is dissolved sooner by the outgoing Prime Minister, Timothy Harris.
HARRIS’ EARLY RELEASE PLAN FOR PRISONERS IS CREATING MORE HAVOC THAN SOLVING PROBLEMS IN ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Residents and citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis are already living under the stress of lockdown. Their mental health and peace of mind are pushed to the edge of economic and social agony associated with covid-19.
To add pain to this peril, PM Timothy Harris’ early release of prisoners in the community is premature. He is doing this without regard for the headaches and emotional torment his actions are having on the good people of the Federation.
Transparency, honesty and a clearly laid out policy would go a long way in reducing confusion, anxiety and fear.
While overcrowding, poor health facilities and unsanitary conditions make it hard to practice social distancing in the prison, it is inexcusable to release prisoners without knowing what criteria they must meet in order to be qualified to go home.
Are prisoners going to be confined at home after serving at least 50% percent of their sentences?
Will prisoners who become infected by the coronavirus be automatically eligible for early release?
Has something caused a new state of emergency at the prison?
Do prison officials anticipate a worse outbreak of Covid-19 in the facility than in the country at large?
What percentage of prisoners is at increased risk of being infected?
How many prison staff and prisoners if any, have tested positive for covid-19?
Many questions are being raised and negative comments made in the social media about the real motive behind this action of the Harris’s regime.
“I am baffled at the foolishness of this government and find it ridiculous how in St. Kitts now we are locking up people for breaking curfew but releasing rapists and thieves,” one young man wrote on social media.
Others are asking: “Is this part of the deal that Government made with the criminals in Government’s Pay for Peace Initiative”?
The idea that the regime will create confusion in advance of the elections, to justify draconian measures under the state of emergency is not far fetched. Just last Friday, under the cover of protecting the public health, Harris went to the Parliament to extend the Emergency Laws for an additional six months beyond the constitutional life of the Parliament, which automatically dissolves on May 14th, 2020, with election due by August 12th, 2020.
Rising public frustration and anger deposited on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter reveal that the regime is so desperate because of their recent polling numbers, that they would endanger the public to recruit additional voters.
However, in the absence of strict monitoring programs where criminals are subjected to critical risk assessment, community watchdog arrangements and the wearing of electronic tags, upscaling release is more a cold-hearted political ploy than a serious attempt to avert the virus.
With heightened distrust of the government by voters in the Federation, implementing the early release program could, during the middle of this pandemic, increase stress, worry and fear in the wider population in ways that sincerely make the population more prone to catching the virus and thus, damage the goal of preserving the public health.
There should be a comprehensive plan to lessen the public anxiety over Harris’s sinister political agenda to release prisoners early. This plan should entail detecting, isolating and tracking cases in prison and in the wider population. The government should be busy developing innovative cell-based wellness and health activities and rehabilitation programs to prepare prisoners to re-enter society and become productive citizens again.
Clearly, this chaotic, risky, depression prone early release plan by Harris, deserves the strongest form of harsh condemnation.
On Friday, April 17, 2020, PM Timothy Harris of St. Kitts and Nevis went to Parliament to extend the Emergency Laws for an additional six months. Yet, the official data, if it can be believed, shows that only 15 persons within the Federation of a population of about 55,000 people tested positive. And additionally, according to the PM “there have been no hospitalisations and no deaths”.
To protect the public health, we must defend the people’s rights. People will have a very tough time safeguarding their own health when their liberties are taken away under the guise of guaranteeing their public health. One benefit of protecting the public health is that residents and citizens can enjoy their social and economic wellbeing. However, the government should not shamelessly reap a political benefit while placing a burden on the people and the opposition or else it loses its legitimacy and moral authority to govern.
Since the Federation is on the brink of a national election, the objective must be to find the right balance between public safety and the people’s will to choose their government. This delicate balance is part of the holistic health of the country.
It is important to establish widespread testing, social distancing and treatment to tackle the infection rate of COVID-19. Timothy Harris is using the COVID-19 pandemic as a cover to disguise a more sinister, selfish and undemocratic power grab as he uses weekly broadcasts to push his own political agenda on the government owned and operated national radio and television stations, paid for by the tax payers of the country, but denies the Opposition Next Gen SKNLP access to the same media facilities.
The unnecessary lengthy extension of Emergency Laws is not only causing untold pain on the business sector, but on individuals, families and communities who are the very lifeblood and backbone of the health and wealth of the country.
These excessively harsh measures under a State of Emergency which suspends the citizens fundamental rights of freedom of association and freedom of speech, implemented to the disadvantage of the Parliamentary Opposition under the pretence of slowing down the virus, are designed to compromise, destroy and take away the fundamentals of democracy.
Over the last five years, Harris has been steadily eroding democracy. Harris has excluded the Opposition from using national radio and television, stifled debate in the National Assembly, politicised the Police Force, illegally suspended and corrupted the operations of the National Electoral Office and exhibited callous nepotism and cronyism in public appointments and awarding of government contracts. Harris’ close family members occupy high positions in the civil service, government banking institutions, the judiciary and the prison.
Under total lockdowns of 24 hr curfews, the Emergency Laws permit the government’s candidates as essential service providers to go canvassing during the final leg of an intense general election campaign. Yet, these same laws restrict and curtail members of the Parliamentary Opposition from doing the same.
It isn’t surprising that other governments in the Caribbean like Barbados, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda have collaborated with Opposition parties to help manage this pandemic. Conversely, Harris has blatantly refused to work with the Opposition to help protect the very public health, which he claims is his main focus. Clearly, Harris’s actions speak louder than his empty words. He continues to deny the Parliamentary Opposition access to the national media. He uses state owned media to bash the opposition, promote the politics of division, and spread callous propaganda in an attempt to gain political advantage.
Given the simmering frustration that the people are displaying, if Harris does not stop destroying the people’s democratic health and the rule of law, he is likely to incite a constitutional calamity, and with it, social chaos.
The people must be watchful, vigilant and alert. Short of this, Harris will introduce martial law. As he continues to say that “under a State of Emergency general elections are on the back burner …….and not at all on my mind”, it is believed that he will suspend the Constitution and desperately hold on to power. The results will erase all civil liberties and usher in the rule of an evil dictator.
The government has the ability to invoke Emergency Laws but there are limits. The government does not have the right to abuse its power. In fact, the new social norms of a democratic society require that we find a way to live with the coronavirus in the same way as we have had to live with cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases that have no cure but demand behavioural changes.
The six months extension of the Emergency Laws beyond the constitutional date of the national election is arbitrary and unjustified. It does not promote good public health or democratic practices and principles. According to the Federation’s Constitution, the national parliament must be automatically dissolved by May 14, 2020. Within 90 days, August 12, 2020, the national election must be held. Will the country be plunged into a constitutional danger and dictatorship using the virus as an excuse or will the will of the people prevail in a free, fair and free from fear election?
Harris must find safe ways for voters to vote. In this critical election year, Harris must give opposition candidates the same access to constituents as he affords the government’s candidates.
“Although this novel coronavirus is unpredictable, I am optimistic that the contagion threat will be reduced, if not eliminated within the next few weeks. At worse, we may have to find creative methods for our people to exercise their franchise. At best, the wind of change is likely to see increases in voter turnout when the bell rings. No matter what Harris does, he will lose the election and feel the harsh rejection of voters for his bad leadership and corrupt behaviours,” says Dr. Denzil Douglas, Leader of the NextGENSKN Labour Party.
Earth Day Message to the Nation from the Political Leader of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party, Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas
April 22, 2020
My fellow citizens and residents,
Today, I join with the international community to observe Earth Day.
Here in St. Kitts and Nevis we are so very blessed to be surrounded by the beauty of nature. From our majestic and lush mountain vistas to our crystal waters, diverse animal species and sparkling sunshine, our people should never take for granted how wonderfully blessed we are.
I know that counting our blessings is difficult to do at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the worst public health crisis our nation has ever seen and threatens to decimate our tourism-dependent economy.
However, we should always treasure our natural environment and always be thankful for the clean air we breathe, the fertile soil that provides us with nutritious fruits and vegetables that boost our immunity and the tranquillity of our beaches that brings calmness to our minds and spirits. We should reflect on these blessings and appreciate these gifts of nature that God has provided to us that will help us to endure, survive and overcome this latest challenge.
Therefore, even during this crisis we must continue to take the steps to protect our environment and to teach our children how to conserve water and electricity. We should practice re-using or eliminating plastics.
Climate Change poses the largest existential threat to our nation’s health. As we approach another Hurricane season let us begin to prepare for any disaster that may come even as we beseech the Almighty to spare our land yet another year.
This year, families are going to observe Earth Day in a different way because we are all called upon to stay home. However, this does not mean we cannot try to do our part through small acts to appreciate and protect our natural beauty and our environment.
I want to thank all our workers who provide essential services who put their lives at risk to keep our island clean and beautiful, such as our sanitation officers and our parks and beaches clean-up crews. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
While our number one focus right now is to win the battle with COVID-19 we will not neglect our environment. As we look towards the future in a post-COVID dispensation we must adapt to the new norm and build resilience in our economy in ways that would make life more affordable for families and protect our environment.
Under a NextGen SKN our great Federation will become first again by investing heavily in our agricultural sector, eco-tourism and renewable energy technologies. This is the pathway towards putting our people back to work and creating a brighter, cleaner and healthier future for everyone.
On behalf of the NextGen SKN Labour Party team of candidates, I wish you all a Happy Earth Day!
The irrational leadership style of the St Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister, Hon. Timothy Harris, was starkly highlighted in the recent National Assembly debate on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Harris’ late afternoon act of hastily reducing his State of Emergency (SOE) proclamation by half the length of his original plan, from 12 to 6 months, was very revealing to say the least.
Nothing Harris or his colleagues said in defence of their laughable request for such a lengthy SOE, was founded on medical science. Based on the ongoing fearfulness of the oublic of St. Kitts & Nevis, and under the disguise of a public health management requirement, this unnecessarily lengthy SOE was really designed to give Prime Minister Harris unchallengeable “emergency” powers over the electoral system. This includes limiting the movement of the SKNLP and NRP candidates and their supporters during the upcoming election campaign.
Moreover, the belief by many that Harris will stop at nothing to completely remove all political freedoms of Dr. Denzil Douglas, is now no longer so far-fetched. Arbitrarily demanding 12 months time from the National Assembly could only have been a sinister political move, designed by Harris to cheat the system into some kind of strategic advantage. Nevertheless, time is getting tight for Harris and his regime. Management of this health situation does not need six more months of lock down. It needs responsible human behaviour and trustworthy public health leadership, while we all work together to rebuild our economy. It is time for Harris and his colleagues to pack up and give the country time to breathe much needed fresh air, from their stench of corruption..
H.E. Steve Wrensford
Families of employees in the hospitality and manufacturing sectors in St. Kitts and Nevis, who were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic were very grateful to receive Care packages delivered by the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas and other Candidates of the NextGenSKN Team under the auspices of the NextGenSKN Cares (Covid-19) Initiative, launched on Friday 3rd April, 2020.
Thursday 9th April, 2020 marked phase 2 of the deliveries of our targeted 5000 Care packages.
These employees, many of whom are single mothers and young people with predisposing chronic illnesses have been home for several weeks without government promised income support, and have been subjected to very limited shopping opportunities, having to stand in long lines for several hours while under 24 hours daily curfew since a State of Emergency was decreed by the Governor General and announced by the Prime Minister for several weeks now.
NextGenSKN Cares expresses gratitude to the benefactors of this Initiative and is grateful to continue to receive donations as previously announced in our first media update last weekend.
Phase 1 concentrated on delivery of over 1000 Care packages to the Covid-19 vulnerable persons such as the elderly, the infirmed, physically and mentally challenged.
9th April, 2020.
NextGenSKN Cares launched its first Project, NextGenSKN Cares Covid-19 Initiative, yesterday Friday 3rd April 2020 under the auspices of Hon. Marcella Liburd, Dr. Geoffrey Hanley and H.E. Steve Wrensford, of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party, on Winnfm Radio and via Facebook live.
Today, Saturday April 4, 2020, all 8 members/Candidates of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party’s NextGenSKN Team delivered simultaneously their first wave of over 1000 Care packages around the entire island of St Kitts, to deserving citizens and residents living in our capital city Basseterre and it’s suburbs, and throughout our various towns and villages.
The objective of NextGenSKN Cares COVID-19 Initiative is the distribution of about 4000 Care Packages to the socioeconomic displaced employees of the Hospitality and Manufacturing enclave sectors, most of whom are relatively young and receiving minimum wage, as well as the elderly, shut-ins, mentally challenged and less abled.
This Charitable Organ of the SKNLP NextGenSKN Team was able to secure contributions from a few benefactors at home and abroad and campaign funds of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party, which were diverted for a COVID-19 Charitable cause. These were used to purchase items of food and personal hygiene to assist persons struggling to cope with the socioeconomic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recipients of the Care Packages have been very grateful, openly commenting their satisfaction. Many of our senior citizens were uncertain of the reliability of their regular meals, as their caretakers were distressed over the many hours of waiting in long lines outside the supermarkets to obtain basic groceries, and the curfews imposed by the COVID-19 Regulations under Emergency Powers of the Governor General.
Many persons at home and abroad have called to make contributions, whether financial or otherwise and are seeking guidance. NextGenSKN Cares wishes to inform persons that they can make such financial contributions/donations to:
SAVING ACCOUNT # 25561, at
St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, in the name of: LABOUR OFFICE COMMITTEE.
This can be assessed internationally with the following wiring instructions through:
200 SOUTH BISCAYNE BOULEVARD, 12th Floor
MIAMI, FLORIDA 33131
TO CREDIT ACCOUNT
INO: ST KITTS NEVIS ANGUILLA NATIONAL BANK LTD
FOR FUTHER CREDIT
ACCOUNT NAME: Labour Office Committee
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 25561
Persons and organizations are also invited to make contributions of food and personal hygiene items. Further information can be obtained by calling +1-869-465-0300 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish to thank all the Candidates and their assistants for delivering the packages. We thank the suppliers and packers and COP Brandy and the Police High Command for their cooperation.