Marcella Liburd slams election supervisor; will oppose plans to disenfranchise voters who live overseas
Photo Collage of – MP, Hon. Marcella Liburd & Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Elvin Bailey
By: Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 31, 2019 – The opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) is again calling on the Supervisor of Election, Mr. Elvin Bailey to publish the monthly revised Register of Voters and to ensure that legitimate and qualifying persons are registered to vote and “end the shenanigans at the electoral office.”
“We continue to have the non-publication of the monthly revised lists in breach of our electoral laws. We have complained about this continuously. We have written to the Supervisor of Elections on several occasions and all we get is lip service,” Deputy Political Leader and Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher 2 (Central Basseterre), Hon. Marcella Liburd disclosed at the monthly press conference on Tuesday.
She told journalists and the Nation that the electoral office continues to deny citizens and residents of their right to register to vote.
“On Tuesday someone told me they went to register and was told that the system was down and not working. We have heard that from several persons that the computers in the office are not working. We have heard that repeatedly from persons who went to register,” said Liburd, a former speaker of the National Assembly and minister of health, social development.
Liburd was also critical of the practice by employees in the Electoral Office for refusing to register Commonwealth citizens who they believe do not support the government.
She said some Commonwealth citizens who have resided here for 12 months are being denied registration by being told the 12 months have been interrupted by going vacation or to attend meetings.
“This is ridiculous, yet they have been refused registration by the Electoral Office,” said Liburd, who also mentioned the practices by officers of telling persons where they must register.
“These are just some of the illegalities that are happening at the electoral office,” said Liburd.
She said the Electoral Commissioner has not been meeting.
“Under the constitution it is the Commission which supervises and advises the Supervisor of Elections and if it is true that the Commission has not been meeting the question is who is advising the Supervisor of Elections. It is supposed to be the Electoral Commission,” said Liburd.
She severely criticised the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government in its quest to disenfranchise nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis who reside overseas. The Government has submitted the first reading of a Bill to amend the National Assembly Elections Act.
“We in the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party will oppose the amendments with all our might. We think it is wrong for them to come at this time to disenfranchise our citizens who live overseas,” said Liburd.