Restoring confidence

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In recent history, the functioning of the electoral office has been cause for concern.  One can recall the cases that ended up in our Courts of Justice and even as far as the Privy Council. The full extent of the malfeasance and xx in public office has yet to be revealed.

Two years ago, the behavior of the former Supervisor of Elections brought another set of negative attention to our island. Indeed, the attention was such that persons who hitherto had remained silent were moved to speak out and demand resolution.  The Observer understands that to date there are still some unresolved matters.

The current Supervisor of Elections has brought a fresh new approach to the job, where he has engaged and educated the public through a series of weekly published articles. Within the past week, he has held two community meetings in which the affected communities were invited to share their views on where the respective parish boundaries lie. We understand that these meetings have been very passionate yet respectful and have re-affirmed that there is collective wisdom amongst our people that, properly harvested, can be of invaluable assistance in our country’s development.

The two meetings, initially about boundary descriptions, but were about much more.  It highlighted the need for greater clarity, for constant review and for greater community involvement.  It also highlighted the need for closer collaboration between the various departments of government.

For the first time too, the electoral office is using social media so that persons in the diaspora are kept informed in real time.

The real test of the new dispensation is yet to come, but is due within the next 12 months or so, when the Nevis Island Election is called.  We expect that this election will restore the international image of the Federation in terms of a display of statesmanship, we do not expect him to abandon his post.  Most importantly, we are expecting to hear the results of the poll by midnight of the polling day.

We commend the new electoral team, the Electoral Commission and indeed Team Unity on this bold new approach to national development, and look forward to greater collaboration and consultation in the future.