Bye Election Now! Demands Brantley

The party supporters were in a jubilant mood as their CCM party hosted a public meeting in Church Ground. 

The theme throughout the meeting however, was the demand for an immediate bye election, to give the people of Constituency #2, Nevis, (St. John’s), the opportunity to determine, in a free and fair poll, which candidate they prefer to have as their representative in the five-member (elected) Nevis Island Assembly. 

One of the two politicians who are expected to contest the seat, in what would be a re-match of the 11th July, 2011 episode, is the Deputy Leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement, Mr. Mark Brantley. 

Brantley is of the view that the people of Nevis should proceed immediately to an election to resolve the current political impasse that now sees the incumbent Nevis Reformation Party and the opposition CCM, each with 2 seats. 

It was Monday’s court ruling that indicated that the fifth seat, that of St. John’s, must be declared vacant, therefore making the previously declared election to be null and void. In other words, the earlier decision in 2011 to declare Mr. Hensley Daniel of the NRP, as the winner has been annulled; requiring a bye election within 90 days. Daniel had been said to have defeated Brantley in that election by 14 votes. There were 14 spoilt ballots and Brantley also challenged the decision because over 200 people, who were registered to vote, were not allowed to do so, in a case of willful disenfranchisement, according to a High Court judge. 

Brantley said an immediate poll is needed to settle all the confusion on the island and to bring stability so that investors could once again demonstrate confidence in the island’s usually stable environment.

However, not only is Brantley calling for a quick poll, but he is also demanding a swift removal of two key electoral officials, who many blame for the problems created during last year’s election. He said that he sees no reason for the same officials who were chastised by the judges to play a part in the upcoming election. The reference here is ascribed to the Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Leroy Benjamin and Bernadette Lawrence, who serves in the Nevis -based division of the Federal Electoral Office.

Brantley went on to say that some discussion, starting with the Governor General, is required, and as a party they (CCM), have assured the people that they are doing this for the good of Nevis and in the interest of stability and to bring the island out of this political chaos.

For Brantley and the CCM supporters, Monday 27th August, 2012, has been described as a brilliant day for democracy and Nevis; because the Court of Appeal has made all Nevisians proud in terms of the justice it has administered.

“We are very happy and right now we will go forward and take advice and see where we go in terms of the election. It is our view to have an election immediately and settle the confusion once and for all,” he stated. 

However, supporters of the incumbent NRP are already indicating that their party is election ready and they are eager to take the fight to the CCM and Mr. Brantley. Both candidates will have a tough road ahead though, as some political observers in Nevis are adamant that the bye election will be far more contentious, than that of 2011.


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