Number 949 • Friday, January 4, 2013

32 Days Left and No Nevis Election Date Announced
By Monique Washington
Premier Joseph Parry campaigning
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Nevisians at home and abroad who tuned in to Premier Joseph Parry’s New Year’s speech anticipating he would announce the date for elections were sorely disappointed.

Hon. Parry’s only reference to the elections was to tell the electorate that it was upon them.

“Be ready, for the Nevis Election is upon us,” he said, adding that Nevisians should put “unsettling controversies of 2012 behind us”.

“We ask you to judge us on our performance; judge us on the basis that we care and we love our people. We have little time to waste for there is much work to do. We can do this only by ensuring continuity in Government,” he said.

Persons have been speculating that the election will be held on January 21, 2013 and a popular online blog has already set its countdown clock for said date.

Parry announced on December 4th, 2012 that no elections would be held on the island before January 3, 2013.

That came a month after the Premier dissolved the Nevis Island Assembly Parliament. In October he ended weeks of speculation following the Court of Appeals August 27 decision to uphold the invalidation of the July 11, 2011 election results for St. Johns (Nevis #2) by announcing that all of Nevis would return to the polls instead of a by-election.

The impending local polling will be the island’s second election in less than two years and its third polling in 3 years. If political pundits are correct that Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas will call a general election in the first quarter of 2013, it would mark an unprecedented fourth election within a three-year span.

According to the Constitution, once parliament is dissolved an election must take place within 90 days, giving the Premier until February 6 to head back to the polls. Parry’s reasoning for call a full election was, “If the election was fraudulent, as they say in St. Johns, it was fraudulent everywhere else."

“It’s just as well we have a new election and get rid of all these names that should not be registered where they are registered. If the election in St. Johns was conducted the way it was conducted in St. Thomas’, in Charlestown, in Gingerland, in St. James, it makes sense to have a full election.”

Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the CCM said if Parry and the NRP were so confident that they could win, “let him [Parry] ring the bell”.

CCM Leader and former Premier Hon. Vance Amory said in October that his party and the people of Nevis wanted elections “now”.

“I am certain the people of Nevis will be ready and will vote out this most incompetent, and obviously corrupt and illegal NRP junta and restore decency and good governance to the people of Nevis.”

In response to Parry dissolving the parliament Amory said that never before in the island’s history had the House been dissolved without a date for election being fixed the same time.

“Mr. Parry’s position is that the people must wait, and wait, and wait to be able to elect a government of their choice. How much longer must the people wait; for how much longer must the uncertainty on the island continue; for how much longer must the island be without a constitutionally constituted government?”

He accused the NRP government of entangling itself if a self-created web of “electoral fraud and deceit” and said it was “fighting tooth and nail to maintain the status quo”.

“Let us not forget that it was because of the gross illegalities sanctioned and perpetrated by the Nevis Reformation Party as we prepared for the Nevis Island Elections in July 2011 why we are where we are today.”