The People’s Action Movement, PAM, has stated that Nevis is at risk of losing its autonomy with which it was granted in 1983, when the island obtained its independence with St. Kitts, from Britain.
At that time, the island was allowed certain administrative rights and powers that cleared the way for local leaders, elected directly by the people of the island, to make laws, introduce regulations and policies on all local matters, related to the island’s internal development. Now all of this is being threatened by the recent actions to influence the outcome of the elections, by members of the ruling Federal Administration.
In a recent statement on the issue that is centered around the removal of selected persons from the Voters List, for the elections on Monday 11th July, 2011, the leadership of the People’s Action Movement, PAM, have voiced its concerns, saying that “The Executive of the party “Is appalled with what appears to be the corruption of the electoral process prior to the local elections in Nevis. Further, manipulation through the direct involvement of the St Kitts Labour Party in the democratic process seems evident based on numerous reports of the candidates participating in the elections.”
“Never in the history of these two islands, has any government in St Kitts, aided and abetted by the Supervisor of Elections, corrupted the electoral process in Nevis with the aim of achieving a particular outcome for their own benefit. The Peoples Action Movement, having experienced its own share of electoral gerrymandering, is none the less disgusted with the extremes to which those interested in corrupting the electoral system will go, to accomplish their sinister political objectives. PAM is convinced that the final outcome will be the loss of administrative autonomy guaranteed to Nevis in the Federal Constitution.”
PAM said the abuse of the electoral authority by the Supervisor of Elections and the disregard for the Federation’s laws, as enshrined in our Constitution, is testament to the extent to which dictatorial Governments will go to silence and oppress those with a different political viewpoint. The Peoples Action Movement has suffered electoral fraud in the two previous elections, 2004 and 2010, through false registration, double voting, voter impersonation, Voter List padding with non residents and overseas visitors.
“The Nevis elections incorporate all of the wrongs previously practiced against the PAM Party, plus the unthinkable, of removing previously registered ID card holding voters, from the Electoral Voters List in Nevis. For the Supervisor of Elections to have ignored the Constitution as well as the instructions of the Electoral Commission and have removed approximately three hundred previously registered opposition voters from the Voters Lists in Nevis, is disgustingly biased and grossly manipulative,” claimed PAM
“The Peoples Action Movement condemns the blatant and systemic fraud in our electoral process. The Peoples Action Movement calls on the Governor General to seek the resignation of Mr. Leroy Benjamin, the Supervisor of elections before he does further damage to the reputation of this Federation in the international arena. All Non- Governmental organizations in St Kitts and Nevis, especially the Bar Association, are encouraged to become actively involved in the review and rewriting of our electoral laws such that future elections can be considered democratic, free and fair,” said PAM in its statement.
The PAM release further stated, “Correcting the wrongs of the electoral reform process of 2007, including the review of appointment of electoral officials, will prevent political unrest and other social disturbances. The Peoples Action Movement would not wish this outcome, as our already mismanaged and fragile economy cannot withstand any such future shock.”