The People’s Action Movement (PAM) has made its intention known that it will challenge the results of the January 25th elections in the High Court. Marvin Edwards, National Campaign Manager for PAM announced the controversial move on Wednesday, against the backdrop of a 6-2 defeat at the polls at the hands of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party. PAM won electoral districts #5 and #8 with candidates Hon. Shawn Richards and member of parliament-elect Eugene Hamilton respectively. PAM is reportedly challenging the results of constituency #4, #2 and #1, contested By party leader Lindsay Grant, Roy Fleming and Glenroy Blanchette respectively. Fleming lost to Labour newcomer and sole female candidate Marcella Liburd 1777 votes to 1536 and Blanchette lost to Hon. Dr. Asim Martin 1907 votes to 1476. One of the biggest losses of Election Day was that of Grant to Labour first-timer Glenn ‘Ghost’ Phillip in constituency #4.The controversy began when Phillip lost the ballot box in his home village of Challengers at the onset of tallying, but By the end of the count, Phillip was declared winner with 1185 votes. His total was a mere 29 votes more than Grant’s 1156. “Mr. Grant last year February objected to the wrongful inclusion in the list of voters of 60 persons who do not reside in the Constituency. No adequate arrangements were made By the Office of the Supervisor of Elections for the hearing of the 60 objections,” a PAM press statement said. Tensions had rose in the various polling stations throughout the constituency as PAM supporters contended that some individuals showing up to the voters’ box were not residents in the constituency. One incident in Halfway Tree threatened to become violent and police were called in. PAM leader Lindsay Grant and Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, leader of the SKNLP also arrived on the scene to ascertain the cause of the confusion. According to an informed source, PAM supporters prevented a large group of voters they claimed were residents of the Newton Ground and St. Pauls area from casting their votes only to have the same group return under the protection of Dr. Douglas and armed members of the security forces. The irate PAM supporters were cordoned off and the persons allowed to vote. Many have stated that the incident is a recurrence of the 2004 elections in that same constituency when Grant lost to Hon. Rupert Hubert By 51 votes amid similar allegations. A PAM communiquÃ© said, “It is clear as clear can be that the country wants a change of Government, and that the results, particularly in Constituency #4, #2 and #1, are not going to be accepted By the people without a fight.” The Observer spoke exclusively with Attorney-at-Law Chesley Hamilton, National Spokesperson for the PAM who informed that there was no rush to the courtroom doors. “We have 21 days after the election to make challenges and it takes time to get a solid case together. You have people who will say all kinds of things but it’s another thing to get them to swear an affidavit as to what they saw, sometimes because of intimidation By higher forces. It all depends on the tangible evidence to support the allegations,” he said. The attorney informed that the challenge of the election results would be more than challenging individual voters as there was widespread fraud committed By election officials. “There was fraud on an official level. You had election officials not carrying out their jobs. Certain infractions were perpetrated because there was no way other than looking at a person’s face to verify the authenticity of the National ID card and the presenting of the ID card was not even mandatory.” A 14-man OAS election observer mission reported on Tuesday that it was satisfied with the overall election process and made several recommendations that would make the voting process more efficient.
PAM to Challenge Results By Sheena Brooks
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