Back to the High Court on Friday

Basseterre, Thursday, 30th July, 2020, (MyVue It is almost two months since the last General Election was held in St. Kitts & Nevis, but the dust has not fully settled, as the major political parties are heading back to the High Court in Basseterre, on Friday, 31st July, 2020, for the hearing of the Election Petitions, filed after the poll results were announced.

The opposition St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party is challenging the results of six of the 8 results in St. Kitts. Those not being challenged are the two seats that were declared in their favour.

However, former Member of Parliament for PAM, in the East Basseterre constituency, Ian Patches Liburd, also filed a petition, shortly after the June 5th poll, alleging various matters that may have led to his defeat.

This would be the second attempt to have the cases heard, after they were delayed on 17th July, 2020.

Since the filings,(25th & 26th June, 2020), the Members of the new National Assembly have been installed, except, Dr. Denzil Douglas and Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, both of the Labour Party, and who decided not to attend the opening of the parliament, held on Wednesday, 8th July, 2020.

Part of the reasons advanced by the Labour contingent, related to what they argued were outstanding matters to fund the operations of the office of the Leader of the Opposition, though at the time no Opposition Leader had been appointed.

But they also indicated that this same reason was the cause of their delay to identify and have confirmed the title holder.

The Labour Party has argued that their Petitions were necessary because, as they claimed, the elections had many irregularities, illegalities, bribery and instances of treating.

The PAM candidate on the other hand has advocated that most of the 98 rejected ballots in his constituency were meant for him and had they been counted, he would have been returned.

There has also been charges made that the candidate declared as winner, Hanley, is known to have been a US citizen and as a consequence, was not qualified to be a candidate and elected.

At present, the composition of the National Assembly, includes 9 elected Representatives for the co-ruling parties of PAM, CCM and PLP, and on the opposition side, 2 elected Representatives.

While the coalition has already appointed their three senators, the opposition has not yet made their one senator pick known to the public.

The public eagerly awaits the ruling of the court in these matters, but the results may take some time, given that all parties involved, have the opportunity to appeal the decisions.

Ian Patches Liburd

Main photo: Labour Party candidates and supporters on the steps of High Court after filing Petitions

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