Corrupting the electoral machinery ahead of still to be announced general elections continues to be a major concern of the opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP).
With five years past the general elections of February 16, 2015, the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) has expressed concern about continuing irregularities inside the Electoral Office.
“As more time passes the unpopular and unscrupulous Timothy Harris-led coalition government will devise ways and means to manipulate the electoral system to their political advantage,” said Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L Douglas, National Political Leader of the SKNLP.
A few months ago the SKNLP mounted a protest outside the Electoral Office in Basseterre against several irregularities. The Supervisor of Elections is Mr. Elvin Bailey, a cousin of the Hon. Vance Amory, Senior Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Security in the Timothy Harris coalition cabinet.
At Wednesday’s monthly press conference at the Labour Party’s Campaign Headquarters, Dr. Douglas noted the withdrawal by Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, of a proposed amendment to the National Assembly Elections Act in September 2019 which would have introduced a six-month residency requirement for persons to be eligible to be registered as a voter after widespread protest.
Dr. Douglas and several of the NextGen SKN candidates of the SKNLP mounted a spirited campaign against the proposed amendment holding meetings in London and Birmingham, England; New York and Florida in the United States; Toronto, Canada; the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and St Maarten, where hundreds of nationals reside.
On October 31, 2019, Mr. Denzil Crooke was appointed Chairman of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, just over three months before February 16, 2020, the fifth anniversary of the last general elections.
“Since a new Boundaries Commission was established, it was only in December of 2019 that they met for the first time. Since this time, the Boundaries Commission met four times trying to find a legal justification for further delaying the elections and for making void the revised boundaries of 2015,” said Dr. Douglas, who indicated that Prime Minister Harris was now focusing on the continued corruption in the Electoral Office, “over which he wields undue political influence, to carry out the same objective – to disenfranchise our overseas nationals.”
“Since the publication of the Register of Voters in January 2020, we have seen that hundreds of names of many of our nationals living overseas have been objected to from the Voters List across all constituencies,” said Dr. Douglas.
“This is spreading confusion and unrest among the electorate. People are very disturbed and outraged by these attempts to gerrymander the boundaries and the voter fraud taking place in the Electoral Office. We in the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party will not allow Prime Minister Harris to suppress the democratic will of the people,” he told reporters.