Irregularities continue in the Electoral Office; PM Harris criticised over plans to disenfranchise voters
By: Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 7, 2019 – Much irregularities continue at the Electoral Office despite the issues being brought to the attention of the Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Elvin Bailey, said deputy political leader of the opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Hon. Marcella Liburd.
“These illegalities continue inspite of the talk and statements from the Electoral Office,” Liburd said.
She said the Electoral Office continues to breach Section 46 of the National Elections Assembly Act that deals with Revised Lists.
“That section mandates that these lists must be published. Publication must take place and no amount of press releases about persons taking down lists can solve that problem because we monitor the areas and for months the Revised Lists are not posted in breach of Section 46 of the law,” Liburd said.
She said the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party will continue to oppose the plans of the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government by disenfranchising voters on the Voters List who reside overseas.
Draft legislation that would introduce a six-month residency period for persons to become eligible to be registered has been given a first reading in the National Assembly.
Following a public outcry no action has been taken to date and government later said it has received comments on the draft bill.
“The government is trying desperately to remove persons who are registered and who reside overseas by taking away their franchise. These are our nationals who have their homes and businesses here and contribute to the social and economic development of the country,” Liburd told listeners to the programme “Ask the Leader.”
She accused the government of attempting to have the second and third readings and passage of the draft legislation without consulting with the people in open and public fora.
“In the 2015 general election, they (Team Unity) brought in hundreds of voters by aircraft, use the voters to get into office and now are trying to remove them from the voters lists without any consultation with them or those who reside on St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Liburd, a former speaker and minister of health, community, social development and gender affairs.
“That is a matter that should be put to the people. The Government should not use its parliamentary majority to remove eligible voters and citizens of St., Kitts and Nevis from the voters list,” Liburd said.
“We in the opposition will vehemently oppose any move to do that. We have to be vigilant,” said Liburd.