Should the electoral district boundaries in St.Kitts and Nevis be changed before the next general election. Attorney General of St. Kitts and Nevis the Hon. Vincent Byron Jr has made a case for change of boundaries in St. Kitts and Nevis before the next elections.
Byron indicated that the Constitution instructs that in every five year term the should be a review of the electoral boundaries.
He explained that a Boundary Commission would have to be appointed by the Governor General consisting of two member of the Government and two members of the opposition and a neutral chairperson.
The first issue he said the boundaries commission must decide is whether there ought to be an increase in boundaries in the Federation. “Do we want to increase the number of seats in our parliament or do we maintain them the same.”
The second he said they must answer is do they maintain the current boundaries that are in place. “Would we have the same villages or the same numbers as what they were over the last four elections?”
He continued, “Our Constitution says that when you do boundaries the numbers in each constituency should be near equal in number of inhabitants.”
Byron explained that the committee e will look at the boundaries to determine if they are unequal and noted that the current boundaries are very unequal. “In constituency number 8 there are over 6000 inhabitants while constituency 5 has less than 3000. They are unequal and we should make every effort to try to bring them more in line with each other.”
He added that before moves are made to change the boundaries they must resolve the outstanding matter of the boundaries from 2015 case that is still before the court.”That matter is in court and we hope that the court will hear it soon so that we can resolve that to see if as we said it was not done properly by Dr. Douglas.”
During his time as Prime Minister the Rt Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas also indicated that the boundaries as they currently stand were unfair and made numerous attempts to have them changed.
In January 2015 the Douglas-led Administration brought a report to the Parliament that would see changes made to the Constituency boundaries in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The opposition then (now current government) filed an injunction in the court trying to stop Douglas from changing the boundaries but the courts denied the injunction. The opposition then took the matter to the Privy Council and had the injunction placed on the new boundaries
However in February 2015, just days before the last general election, the Privy Council overturned both judgments meaning elections were held on the old boundaries.
Since then the conclusion to the case has not been heard and has still not been established.