June 28, 2020
The battle to determine the will of the people is just beginning. War has been declared to save the democracy of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Elections and the right to a free and fair voting process constitute, perhaps, the most important elements in the conception and practice of liberal democracy. We are not conceding.” These are the fighting words of Dr. Denzil Douglas, Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, Ms. Marcella Liburd, Deputy Political Leader, Dr. Terrance Drew, Party Chairman, Mr. Konris Maynard, Steve Wrensford, Leon Natta-Nelson, Kenneth “Kenny” Douglas and the rest of the Labour Party membership, supporters and friends.
After careful and thorough examination of the election data, eyewitness accounts from residents and citizens as well as reports collected from Inside and Outside Agents which monitored the voting process, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party is challenging the legitimacy of the People’s Labour Party’s (PLP) and People’s Action Movement’s (PAM) election and return results. Its investigation has uncovered shocking evidence alleging that the outcome of the June 5, 2020 election was greatly influenced by extensive corruption linked to a massive “land-for-votes” scheme in addition to substantial and significant electoral irregularities, breaches of the Electoral Office (without the intervention of the Electoral Commission) and bribery.
It was discovered, through eye-witness accounts, that in the weeks leading up to the General Election, the Ministry of Sustainable Development distributed over six hundred (600) parcels of land, with some persons receiving the same parcel or land, and with the expressed agreement that they must vote for the PAM’s/PLP’s candidates within specific constituencies. Very few individuals from the relevant government ministries were involved in this “land-for-vote” scheme. Applications and approvals were fraudulently derived as they did not go through the ordinary government process or administrative teams. In many cases, voters received their land approval letters either from the candidate themselves, or their campaign offices.
Some voters were given lands that were already owned by persons with houses on them, and others were given lands through developments that were created within two weeks of Election Day, without going through any procedure for establishment or approval.
Surveyors were seen surveying land lots even on Election Day. Hundreds of lots were given out in Sandy Point, where the Labour Party’s Ambassador Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Douglas contested the seat.
Of the appropriately 600 lots that were given out, at least 350 were distributed in the weeks and days leading up to the General Election across all the constituencies.
In the case of St. Christopher Three, a total of 113 persons appeared contrary to election laws. Many were added on the 2020 Voter’s Register in January and May of 2020.
Of that amount, the names of at least forty (40) persons were added to the list used for the General Election.
Also, at least 40 of these hidden additions were registrants originating from the Dominican Republic who live in Constituencies Number One and Two, but voted in Constituency Number Three. Some of these registrants obtained their citizenship in 2020, and some were not qualified to vote.
Even more chilling and egregious is the fact that Labour Party Candidate Konris Maynard had objected to those new registrants who appeared on the January 2020 list, but those objections were intentionally not given a hearing.
These alarming irregularities and activities undermine the political and democratic will of the people which is the sole authority that gives legitimacy to any government. It is not surprising that Mr. Maynard’s opponent won by 89 votes when the list was manipulated to illegally add 113 names of PLP’s supporters.
Election-rigging tactics were unleashed in a dramatic fashion. In Constituency Number Eight, which was contested by SKNLP candidate, Dr. Terrance Drew, over 50 names of Labour Party supporters were removed from the voter’s list in 2020 without due process.
Four (4) PAM voters were permitted to vote without their names being on the list. These too were objected to by Dr. Drew’s agent which was ignored and not recorded as required by law. They were allowed to vote against the law.
With the State of Emergency and lockdowns, the Labour Party was prohibited from uncovering these irregularities. However, when these dishonest tactics were exposed following Nomination Day, the Electoral Office was closed. This prevented persons from resolving their election issues and left with very little time to go to court to challenge the unlawful removal and transfer of names.
Individuals, who were not qualified or previously removed from the Poverty Alleviation Program (PAP), were added and given a lump sum retroactive payment in some cases dating from December 2019. These were only done after speaking to the candidates or the campaign team, where voters were told that their names would be added to the PAP list, only if they promised to vote for the PAM/PLP’s candidates.
As a result of that, it has been discovered that some voters now received three government’s grant payments: PAP, STEP and Pay-for-Peace.
A disgruntled and upset electorate began to reveal the claims made above when most discovered that they were sorely deceived and tricked into electing a corrupt and incompetent government.
Ultimately, alleged bribery, intentional electoral dishonesty and rigging strategies have distorted, watered down and influenced the true will of the people. While election fraud takes on a wide variety of forms, they cancel modern democracy, which was so valiantly and sacrificially fought for by our forebears, such as the Rt. Sir Robert L. Bradshaw and others.
The people of St. Kitts and Nevis deserve better. They deserve a fair and free democratic country. They deserve a new election where the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party can fairly compete on a level playing field.