The St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) is heading to court to challenge what they are calling mismanagement of the Electoral Office with the unlawful removal of removal and addition of names on voter’s registration lists.
The action mimic’s a similar complaint on Nevis where Nevis Reformation Party Candidate Robelto Hector, who lost to the Concerned Citizens by 11 votes, is taking the Registrar of Voters to court charging vote rigging and incompetence.
Chairperson of the SKNLP and MP for Central Basseterre Marcella Liburd stated that currently at the Electoral Office “there are many atrocities taking place.”
She said, “The laws are being breached with impunity.”
Liburd pointing to areas of concerns regarding the voters’ registration lists and stated that they must act now swiftly to try and have it corrected. “This just cannot be right and so we must act and act now on these matters.
She added, “There are so many illegal practices going on at that Electoral Office. Many months, revised monthly lists are not posted in breach of the law, transfers are not posted, even persons whose names are removed, that should be published. That is not done so people are not even aware why their names are not on the lists but then they are telling them go and re register.”
She further charged that the Electoral Commission failed to convene for a meeting. Liburd said,“ No meeting at all of the Electoral Commission so there are all sorts of irregularities going on with respect to the Electoral Office and so we have to make sure that we are on top of things.”
She also stated that they had written to the Supervisor of Elections Elvin Bailey in October 2017 to voice their concerns but had yet to receive a response.
“As a matter of fact because of this, we had on the 23rd October last year 2017, written a letter to the Supervisor of Election pointing out to him the fact that list of transfers were not being published, that monthly revised lists were not being published.
“We also copied the letter to the members of the Electoral Commission and to the Attorney General. To date, some three months later I don’t have to tell you that we didn’t even have the decency of a response. There has been no response,” Liburd stated.
She then noted that court action may be the only solution to the unacceptable practices. “This is totally unacceptable to us and we intend to take legal actions to deal with these matters that are happening at the electoral office because that seems to be the only way in which we are going to have these matters addressed.”
Liburd also questioned the Attorney General being the Minister responsible for the Electoral Office.
“We have consistently pointed out the conflict of interest in having the Attorney General being the Minister responsible for the Electoral Office, serious conflict of interest is involved here because he as the Attorney General is supposed to be the person that they look to for legal advice and he is also the Minister so when there are breaches at the office what happens?
She added, “ Would he advise himself in these matters .This is a serious matter that needs to be addressed and so what is happening there is that people’s names are being taken off removed from the lists; they are being taken off from the list without their knowledge and by the time they go in there into the Electoral Office, they are telling them ‘ok, go and reregister. So it seems to be a little ploy.”
When questioned on a timeline they expect to file the matter in the courts Liburd was hopeful it could be done in a short matter. “We hope very soon and we hope probably within a month or so that we’ll have some action in action in court based on all these atrocities and irregularities that are happening at the Electoral Office without any response coming from the Supervisor of Election.”